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adj. ear·li·er, ear·li·est
1. Of or occurring near the beginning of a given series, period of time, or course of events: in the early morning; scored two runs in the early innings.
a. Of or belonging to a previous or remote period of time: the early inhabitants of the British Isles.
b. Of or belonging to an initial stage of development: an early form of life; an early computer.
3. Occurring, developing, or appearing before the expected or usual time: an early spring; an early retirement.
4. Maturing or developing relatively soon: an early variety of tomato.
5. Occurring in the near future: hoped for an early end to the negotiations.
adv. ear·lier, ear·liest
a. Near the beginning of a given series, period of time, or course of events: departed early in the day; scored important victories early in the campaign.
b. At or near the beginning of the morning: She never used to get up so early.
2. At or during a remote or initial period: decided very early to go into medicine.
3. Before the expected or usual time: arrived at the meeting a few minutes early.
4. Soon in relation to others of its kind: a rose that was cultivated to bloom early.
early on
At an early stage or point: Early on in the movie, the main character loses his job.

[Middle English erli, from Old English ǣrlīce : ǣr, before; see ayer- in Indo-European roots + -līce, adv. suff.; see -ly2.]

ear′li·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.earliness - quality of coming early or earlier in time
timing - the time when something happens
forwardness - an advanced stage; "the forwardness of the harvest this year"; "the arts are in no kind of forwardness in this matter"
lateness - quality of coming late or later in time
det at være tidlig
snemma dags; òaî aî koma of snemma


(ˈəːli) adverb
1. near the beginning (of a period of time etc). early in my life; early in the afternoon.
2. sooner than others; sooner than usual; sooner than expected or than the appointed time. He arrived early; She came an hour early.
1. belonging to, or happening, near the beginning of a period of time etc. early morning; in the early part of the century.
2. belonging to the first stages of development. early musical instruments.
3. happening etc sooner than usual or than expected. the baby's early arrival; It's too early to get up yet.
4. prompt. I hope for an early reply to my letter.
ˈearliness noun
early bird
someone who gets up early or who acts before others do.
References in classic literature ?
Next, I bethought me, despite the earliness of the hour, of going to see Mr.
Green cabbage varieties vary in their earliness and mature size.
Excalibur also offers good earliness of flowering and maturity scores to help growers spread the harvest season.
Thus varieties with growth type, autumn and winter half of the earliness and tolerance to cold and drought have for planting in cold and temperate regions are recommended in the study of rural and colleagues [3] noted that the figures along with Sardari and Sabalan Coleoptiles, root length, shoot length and weight more than stipes, in their adaptation to dry conditions, cold and temperate regions is effective.
Researches in single machine scheduling with earliness and tardiness penalties became one of the major areas of interest in scheduling theory (Ying, 2008), (Linet al.
Two weeks ago Ospreys scrum-half Mike Phillips became the first of the Welsh Lions to appear in the Magners League, the earliness of his introduction taking many by surprise.
Covering it with fleece or cloches will improve earliness, yields and quality.
AC Burrito was used for its earliness, wide adaptability, and good yield potential as an early pinto bean.
By saving our seed year after year, we are selecting for traits such as drought tolerance, earliness and exceptional taste.
Breeders who used Tamcot SP37 as a parent for earliness could have inadvertently separated the B genes from each other.
A frost in February held back the season for a week, even though it is now common practice to cover the crop in polythene in January and February to achieve extra earliness and yield from the end of April to early June.
If some jobs are finished earlier than their due dates, the producer will incur an inventory cost, that is called an earliness penalty.