• WordNet 3.6
    • adj early at or near the beginning of a period of time or course of events or before the usual or expected time "early morning","an early warning","early diagnosis","an early death","took early retirement","an early spring","early varieties of peas and tomatoes mature before most standard varieties"
    • adj early being or occurring at an early stage of development "in an early stage","early forms of life","early man","an early computer"
    • adj early of an early stage in the development of a language or literature "the Early Hebrew alphabetical script is that used mainly from the 11th to the 6th centuries B.C.","Early Modern English is represented in documents printed from 1476 to 1700"
    • adj early very young "at an early age"
    • adj early belonging to the distant past "the early inhabitants of Europe","former generations","in other times"
    • adj early expected in the near future "look for an early end to the negotiations"
    • adv early before the usual time or the time expected "she graduated early","the house was completed ahead of time"
    • adv early in good time "he awoke betimes that morning"
    • adv early during an early stage "early on in her career"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

An early Jamestown house. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.) An early Jamestown house. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
The majority of the locks and keys used in the early houses were imported from England The majority of the locks and keys used in the early houses were imported from England
A wrought-iron window casement unearthed near an early 17th-century building site A wrought-iron window casement unearthed near an early 17th-century building site
A leather shoe and several leather shoe soles were uncovered in an early 17th-century well A leather shoe and several leather shoe soles were uncovered in an early 17th-century well
An early 17th-century, two-man, crosscut saw An early 17th-century, two-man, crosscut saw
Earthenware vessels made at Jamestown between 1625 and 1640. The site of an early 17th-century pottery kiln was discovered on the island in 1955 Earthenware vessels made at Jamestown between 1625 and 1640. The site of an early 17th-century pottery kiln was...
Early musket barrel and gun parts excavated at Jamestown Early musket barrel and gun parts excavated at Jamestown

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Men in their early twenties shave an average of four times a week
    • Early Coming in the first part of a period of time, or among the first of successive acts, events, etc. "Seen in life's early morning sky.""The forms of its earlier manhood.""The earliest poem he composed was in his seventeenth summer."
    • Early In advance of the usual or appointed time; in good season; prior in time; among or near the first; -- opposed to late; as, the early bird; an early spring; early fruit. "Early and provident fear is the mother of safety.""The doorsteps and threshold with the early grass springing up about them."
    • adv Early Soon; in good season; seasonably; betimes; as, come early . "Those that me early shall find me.""You must wake and call me early ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Early Romans used to use porcupine quills as toothpicks
    • early Near the initial point of some reckoning in time; in or during the first part or period of some division of time, or of some course or procedure: as, come early; early in the day, or in the century; early in his career.
    • early Synonyms Early, Soon, Betimes. Early is relative, and notes occurrence before some fixed or usual time, or before the course of time had far advanced beyond that point: as, he rose early (that is, he rose before the usual time of rising, or before the day had advanced far); he came early in the evening (that is, before the evening was far advanced); while in “come early” the meaning may be only “do not be late in your coming, or do not delay your coming beyond the set or accustomed time.” Soon means shortly, or in a short time after the present or some fixed point of time: as, come soon; he left soon after my arrival. Betimes (by time) means in good time for some specific object or all useful purposes: as, he rose betimes.
    • early Pertaining to the first part or period of some division of time, or of some course in time; being at or near the beginning of the portion of time indicated or concerned: as, an early hour; early manhood; the early times of the church.
    • early Appearing or occurring in advance of, or at or near the beginning of, some appointed, usual, or well-understood date, epoch, season, or event; being before the usual time: as, an early riser; early fruit; early (that is, premature) decay; early marriage.
    • early Occurring in the near future: as, I shall take an early opportunity of calling on you; the petitioners asked that a meeting be called at an early date.
    • early In embryology, very young; very recently formed: as, an early embryo.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: India used to be the richest country in the world until the British invasion in the early 17th Century
    • adj Early ėr′li in good season: at or near the beginning of the day: relating to the beginning: happening in the near future
    • adv Early near the beginning: soon
    • ***


  • American Proverb
    American Proverb
    “The early bird gets the worm.”
  • T. S. Eliot
    “I don't believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates.”
  • Baltasar Gracian
    “A beautiful woman should break her mirror early.”
  • Gunther Grass
    Gunther Grass
    “Believing: it means believing in our own lies. And I can say that I am grateful that I got this lesson very early.”
  • Edward Gibbon
    “My early and invincible love of reading I would not exchange for all the riches of India.”
  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    “A useless life is an early death.”


Early bath - (UK) If someone has or goes for an early bath, they quit or lose their job or position earlier than expected because things have gone wrong.
Early bird catches the worm - The early bird catches the worm means that if you start something early, you stand a better chance of success.
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise - It means that sleeping well and not staying up late will help you out physically and financially.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. erli, erliche, AS. ǣrlīce,; ǣr, sooner + līc, like. See Ere, and Like


In literature:

Still, even at this early age some differences have been recorded.
"The Sexual Life of the Child" by Albert Moll
We were early convinced by the teaching of Lucas-Championniere, and have adopted his principles in fractures.
"Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities--Head--Neck. Sixth Edition." by Alexander Miles
This gentleman was one of the more prominent of the early settlers at Mansfield.
"The History of Dartmouth College" by Baxter Perry Smith
In all the foregoing cases the two sides of the animal are perfectly symmetrical at an early period of growth.
"The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II (of 2)" by Charles Darwin
The Spaniards had early visited and given name to Florida.
"Chronicles of Border Warfare" by Alexander Scott Withers
Early on August 7, 1914, Burgomaster Kleyer and the Bishop of Liege negotiated terms for the surrender of the city.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII)" by Various
Minty were some of the names that appeared early in the history of Michigan in the war.
"Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman" by J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd
The rancher was the Reverend E. J. Lamb, one of the early settlers of Estes Park.
"A Mountain Boyhood" by Joe Mills
For early accounts of this organization see History of Woman Suffrage, Vol.
"The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV" by Various
A few words must be said, by way of preface to this subject, on the mental habits of early races.
"History of Religion" by Allan Menzies

In poetry:

Apart from Thee we plant in vain
The root and sow the seed;
Thy early and Thy later rain,
Thy sun and dew we need.
"Garden" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Like the song of the lark or linnet,
That's singing early and soon,
His foot had the music in it
Like an old tune.
"His Footstep" by Katharine Tynan
SHOW thee as I thought thee
When I early sought thee,
All undoubting
Love alone had wrought thee—
"To Outer Nature" by Thomas Hardy
I return'd by early twilight,
And as I latched the gate;
I saw from the shaded window,
My sweetheart still did wait.
"My Sweetheart" by Frank Barbour Coffin
Night fled, and thro' the window 'gan
The early light to play;
But on a more unhappy man
Ne'er shone the dawning day.
"Night Scenes Of Other Times" by Joanna Baillie
Patiently, hopefully,
Early, late,
How the wizard fingers
Weave with Fate
For the naked youngling
Crying at the Gate!
"The Weavers" by John Gneisenau Neihardt

In news:

Rotationally grazed pastures in Wisconsin respond best to nitrogen (N) applications made in early May or early August, when temperatures are in the mid- to high 70s.
An enthralled reader of sea stories in his younger days in rural Manitowoc, Wis. Wehrwein lived out his early dreams on Great Lakes iron ore boats in the early 1970s.
Emergency crews were dispatched early Monday morning to a bridge near Ellis Road and Madison Street in Sioux Falls early Monday morning in response to a call about a car in the ditch.
Early voting starts Tuesday and both sides of the political spectrum are encouraging Ohioians to get out and vote early.
The band hits the west coast for an early bird release tour in early December.
Early Voting Jo Roberts gives the times available for early voting.
Many early members of the breed were from the province of Pomerania, hence the early name Pomeranian.
If you can stand temps in the teens tonight (or, as the case may be, early tomorrow morning), it could be worth finding somewhere dark to do some sky watching in the early morning hours.
MIAMI — The Atlantic hurricane season got off to an early start and will likely stay busy, producing a few more storms than originally predicted, which could come early before tapering off, US forecasters said Thursday.
This was early in the 20th Century, just a few years before the onset of World War I Those early tank truck fleets were truly mom-and-pop type operations.
DENTON — Dan McCarney called a special meeting of his coaches early this week to discuss the special teams issues that plagued North Texas early in the season.
A strong early season Winter Storm is heading our way for early next week.
Sunday afternoon also saw Monday's early voting cancelled throughout the state, and it was announced Monday that early voting would be cancelled Tuesday as well.
Early this morning, Dig South reached its Kickstarter goal, but you've got until 5pm Friday to get in on early-bird pricing.
Zinta Aistars Assistant Superintendent Gordie Nickels and Early Childhood Director Melissa Thomas hold up floor plan and materials selections inside the Byron Center Early Childhood Center.

In science:

An early example of this type of sums is provided by eq.(22) in a paper by D.A.
Enumeration of simple random walks and tridiagonal matrices
Historically, most of the early HST observations of compact star clusters were in merging galaxies, followed shortly by similar observations in starburst galaxies.
The Formation of Star Clusters
Young Compact Star Clusters in Merging Galaxies The primary question for many of the early HST studies of merging galaxies was whether globular clusters were being formed.
The Formation of Star Clusters
As mentioned before, no definitive answer as to the existence of such a state was given in the early work on matrix theory.
M(atrix) Theory: Matrix Quantum Mechanics as a Fundamental Theory
Solla for useful interactions at an early stage of this work.
Random Heteropolymer Dynamics