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adverb early pronunciation in American English /ˈɜrli/ 
Word Forms
  1. 1
    before the usual or expected time

    I don't get up very early.

    The flight arrived ten minutes early.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of early
  2. 2
    near the beginning of a period of time

    Let's meet again early next week.

    early in:

    These simple plants appeared very early in the history of life on Earth.

    1. a.
      near the beginning of someone's life

      His genius as a musician was shown very early.

      early in:

      She was widowed very early in life.

    2. b.
      near the beginning of an event or activity
      early in:

      It's best not to rush things this early in your career.

  3. 3
    near the beginning of a piece of writing
    early in:

    This point was discussed earlier in the chapter.

  4. 4
    soon enough to avoid problems

    If we begin the treatment early, we have a better chance of success.



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