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." (Burke) "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.
<philosophy> Shairp) Early English 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.
Synonyms: Forward, timely, not late, seasonable.
Origin: OE. Earlich. See Early.
(01 Mar 1998)
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