early Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “early” in the English Dictionary

"early" in British English

See all translations

earlyadjective, adverb

uk   /ˈɜː.li/  us   /ˈɝː-/ (earlier, earliest)
A1 near the ​beginning of a ​period of ​time, or before the ​usual, ​expected, or ​plannedtime: 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 ​usualtime). She was a ​poetliving in the early 15th ​century. He ​learned to ​read at the early age of three. It's a little early to be ​sowingcarrotseeds, isn't it? Henry Ford was a ​pioneer during the early days/​years of ​carmanufacture. 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 ​shorttime 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"early" in American English

See all translations

earlyadjective, adverb [-er/-est only]

 us   /ˈɜr·li/
near the ​beginning of (a ​period of ​time), or before the ​usual, ​expected, or ​plannedtime: I got up early this ​morning to ​walk the ​dog. Sheena’s in her early ​thirties. She ​arrived early for the ​interview. If you ​finish early (= before the end of the ​allowedtime) you can go ​home. Detroit has been an ​automotivecenter since the early ​days/​years (= the ​beginningtime) of ​carmanufacturing. Here’s a ​dish I ​prepared earlier (= I made a ​shorttime ago). It was a ​greatrace for Needles, who took the ​lead early on (= ​soon after the ​start).
(Definition of early from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"early" in Business English

See all translations


uk   us   /ˈɜːli/ (earlier, earliest)
at your earliest convenience used to ​ask someone to do something, or to say that you will do something as soon as possible: Please give me a ​call back at your earliest ​convenience on ​extension one two four seven.
(Definition of early from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of early?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day


stylish and fashionable

Word of the Day

Out of Africa
Out of Africa
by Colin McIntosh,
October 01, 2015
A recent discovery off the coast of the island of Taiwan, made by local fishermen, is causing scientists to re-examine their ideas about early humans. The skull of a male human, now nicknamed Penghu Man, was found to differ significantly from the skulls of the Homo Erectus species previously known in the

Read More 

dolla noun
dolla noun
September 28, 2015
slang money Can I have some dolla?

Read More