early definition, meaning - what is early in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “early”

See all translations

early

adjective, adverb uk   /ˈɜː.li/  us   /ˈɝː-/ (earlier, earliest)
A1 near the beginning of a period of time, or before the usual, expected, or planned time: If you finish early you can go home. If you arrived earlier, you'd have more time. I like being a little early for interviews. They scored two goals early (on) in the game. I hate having to get up early (in the morning). I'm going to have an early night (= go to sleep before my usual time). She was a poet living in the early 15th century. He learned to read at the early age of three. It's a little early to be sowing carrot seeds, isn't it? Henry Ford was a pioneer during the early days/years of car manufacture. My earliest (= first) memory is of being shown around our new house. These are some of my early (= first) attempts at sculpture. Here's a dish I prepared earlier (= I made a short time ago). Early flowers and vegetables are ones that are ready early in the year, before most other ones.at the earliest C2 used after a date or time to show that something will not happen before then: I'm very busy, so I won't be with you till four o'clock at the earliest.
More examples
(Definition of early from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of early?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “early” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

airwaves

the radio waves used for broadcasting radio and television programmes, or, more generally, radio or television broadcasting time

Word of the Day

They sometimes go here and they never go there: using adverbs of frequency

by Liz Walter,
April 29, 2015
Sometimes, always, often, never: these are some of the most common words in English.  Unfortunately, they are also some of the words that cause the most problems for students. Many of my students put them in the wrong place, often because that’s where they go in their own languages. They say things

Read More 

e-juice noun

April 27, 2015
the liquid content in an e-cigarette, which includes nicotine and may be flavoured in various ways Contestants…suck on a modified vaper until they’ve filled their chest cavity with enough vaporised nicotine “e-juice” to shoot out a belch of white smoke upwards of 4ft long.

Read More