Hypertext Webster Gateway: "early"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Early \Ear"ly\ ([~e]r"l[y^]), adv. [OE. erli, erliche, AS.
[=ae]rl[=i]ce; [=ae]r sooner + l[=i]c like. See {Ere}, and
Soon; in good season; seasonably; betimes; as, come early.

Those that me early shall find me. --Prov. viii.

You must wake and call me early. --Tennyson.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Early \Ear"ly\, a. [Compar. {Earlier} ([~e]r"l[i^]*[~e]r);
superl. {Earliest}.] [OE. earlich. [root]204. See {Early},
1. 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. --Hawthorne.

2. 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. --Keble.

The forms of its earlier manhood. --Longfellow.

The earliest poem he composed was in his seventeenth
summer. --J. C.

{Early English} (Philol.) See the Note under {English}.

{Early English architecture}, the first of the pointed or
Gothic styles used in England, succeeding the Norman style
in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Syn: Forward; timely; not late; seasonable.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: 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" [ant: {middle}, {late}]
2: being or occurring at an early stage of development; "in an
early stage"; "early forms of life"; "early man"; "an
early computer [ant: {late}]
3: of the distant past; "the early inhabitants of Europe";
"former generations"; "in other times" [syn: {early(a)}, {former(a)},
4: very young; "at an early age"
5: (linguistics) 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" [ant: {middle}, {late}]
6: expected in the near future; "look for an early end to the
adv 1: during an early stage; "early on in her career" [syn: {early
2: before the usual time or the time expected; "she graduated
early"; "the house was completed ahead of time" [syn: {ahead
of time}, {too soon}] [ant: {late}]
3: in good time; "he awoke betimes that morning" [syn: {betimes}]

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