Hypertext Webster Gateway: "sooner"

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

Sooner \Soon"er\, n.
In the western United States, one who settles on government
land before it is legally open to settlement in order to gain
the prior claim that the law gives to the first settler when
the land is opened to settlement; hence, any one who does a
thing prematurely or anticipates another in acting in order
to gain an unfair advantage.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adv 1: comparatives of `soon' or `early'; "Come a little sooner, if
you can"; "came earlier than I expected" [syn: {earlier}]
2: more readily or willingly; "clean it well, preferably with
warm water"; "I'd rather be in Philadelphia"; "I'd sooner
die than give up" [syn: {preferably}, {rather}]

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