early Definition

  • 1happening or done before the usual or expected time
  • 2belonging to a period far back in time
  • 3occurring in the near future

Using early: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "early" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I woke up early this morning to go for a run.

  • Example

    The early bird catches the worm.

  • Example

    She was an early adopter of new technology.

  • Example

    Early humans used stone tools for hunting and gathering.

  • Example

    We need to leave early to avoid traffic.

early Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for early

Antonyms for early

Idioms Using early

  • very early in the morning


    We have to wake up bright and early to catch the first train.

  • a proverb that means people who go to bed early and wake up early are healthy, wealthy, and wise


    My grandfather always says, 'Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.'

  • a person who wakes up early or arrives early, especially to take advantage of something


    The early bird gets the best deals at the farmer's market.

Phrases with early

  • at an early stage or point in time


    Early on in his career, he realized he wanted to be a writer.

  • a period of time at the beginning of something when it is still developing or has not yet become established


    It's still early days for the new project, but we're making good progress.

  • early warning

    advance notice of a potential danger or problem


    The earthquake gave us an early warning to evacuate the building.

Origins of early

from Old English 'ǣrlīce', meaning 'soon' or 'early'


Summary: early in Brief

The adjective 'early' [ˈɜːrli] describes something that happens or is done before the usual or expected time, or belongs to a period far back in time. It can also refer to something that will happen in the near future. Examples include 'I woke up early this morning,' and 'Early humans used stone tools.' Phrases like 'early on' and idioms like 'early bird' extend the concept of earliness.

How do native speakers use this expression?