Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “early”

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 rather early to be sowing carrot seeds, isn't it? Mercedes were pioneers 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 before ordinary 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.
(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

dawn on sb

If a fact dawns on you, you understand it after a period of not understanding it.

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More