English translation unavailable for .


eraly [adjective]
US /ˈɝː.li/ 
UK /ˈɜː.li/ 

I woke up early in the morning

usually before noun near the beginning of a period of time

Persian equivalent: 

اوايل‌، آغازين‌


In the early Renaissance


در اوايل‌ رنسانس‌

Oxford Essential Dictionary


 adjective, adverb (earlier, earliest)

1 near the beginning of a period of time:
Come in the early afternoon.
She was in her early twenties (= aged between 20 and about 23 or 24).
I have to get up early tomorrow.

2 before the usual or right time:
The train arrived ten minutes early.
You're early! It's only half past six.
I was early for the lesson.
 opposite late

have an early night to go to bed earlier than usual:
I'm really tired, I think I'll have an early night.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


I.   adjective

I. early1 S1 W1 /ˈɜːli $ ˈɜːrli/ adjective (comparative earlier, superlative earliest)
 [Language: Old English; Origin: ærlice, from ær 'early, soon']
 1. FIRST PART  in the first part of a period of time, event, or process:
   • the early morning sunshine
   • an afternoon in early spring
   • In the early days, the railways mainly carried goods.
   • She is in her early twenties.
   • the recession of the early 1980s
   • The money could be paid as early as next week.
   • He spent the early part of his career at St John’s Hospital.
   • the experiences of early childhood
   • the early works of Shakespeare
   • My earliest memories are of fruit trees.
   • Early signs are encouraging.
 2. BEFORE USUAL  arriving or happening before the usual or expected time OPP late
  five minutes/three hours etc early
   • The bus was ten minutes early.
  early for
   • I was a few minutes early for my appointment.
   • David decided to take early retirement (=stop working before the normal age).
   • She drank herself into an early grave (=died younger than is normal).
 3. BEGINNING  used to emphasize that something has just begun, especially when you do not know how it will develop:
   • It’s too early to say what will happen.
   • It’s early days yet. I don’t want to make any predictions.
 4. NEW THING  [only before noun] being one of the first people, events, machines etc:
   • Early motor cars had very poor brakes.
   • fossil evidence of early man
 5. the early hours the time between midnight and morning:
   • I didn’t finally get to bed until the early hours.
  in the early hours of something
   • The attack happened in the early hours of Sunday morning.
 6. an early start a start made very early in the day because you have a lot to do, far to go etc:
   • We need to make an early start tomorrow.
 7. at/from an early age when you are very young, or starting when you were very young:
   • She’s played tennis from a very early age.
 8. an early night if you have an early night, you go to bed earlier than usual OPP a late night
  have/get an early night
   • I think I’ll get an early night.
 9. early bird/early riser someone who always gets up very early in the morning
 10. the early bird catches the worm used to say that if you do something early or before other people, you will be successful
 11. early potatoes/lettuces etc potatoes etc that are ready to be picked before any others
     • • •


   ▪ early morning/afternoon/eveningThe lake looked beautiful in the pale early morning light.
   ▪ early spring/summer etcThese plants produce flowers from early spring to late summer.
   ▪ early August/January etcItaly is lovely in early June, before it gets too hot.
   ▪ the early days/months/years of something (=the period of time near the beginning of something)In the early years of our marriage, we lived with my wife’s parents.
   ▪ in your early twenties/forties etc (=aged 20–23, 40–43 etc)Both men are in their early twenties.
   ▪ the early 1920s/1970s etc (=1920–23, 1970–73 etc)He lived in London in the early 1980s.
   ▪ sb’s early childhood/adolescence/life (=when someone is a young child, adolescent etc)We’ve known each other since early childhood.
   ▪ an early stage (=near the beginning of a process)Patients can be treated with drugs, especially at the early stage of the disease.
   ▪ the early part of something (=near the beginning of an event or period of time)I was doing quite well in the early part of the race.
   ▪ sb’s earliest memory (=the first thing you can remember about something from your past)One of my earliest memories is of being at a busy railway station, trying to find my mum.
     • • •


   ▪ early arriving or happening before the usual or expected time: • For once, the train arrived early. | • Let’s have an early lunch before we go.
   ▪ in good time especially British English early enough, so that you do not have to rush, or so that you have time to get ready: • Everything was ready for the party in good time.
   ▪ on time arriving somewhere or happening at the right time: • The bus was on time. | • The project was finished on time.
   ▪ ahead of time earlier than the time when you have arranged to do something or than when you need something: • The building work was completed ahead of time. | • Some of the food can be prepared ahead of time.
   ▪ ahead of schedule earlier than the officially agreed time: • The Prime Minister called the elections early, five months ahead of schedule.
   ▪ with time to spare arriving somewhere or finishing something before the time when you have to arrive or finish: • We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. | • I finished the test with time to spare.
   ▪ first thing especially spoken immediately after you get up, or as soon as you start work: • I’ll telephone her first thing tomorrow.

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


early [early earlies earlier earliest] adjective, adverb   [ˈɜːli]    [ˈɜːrli]

adjective (earl·ier, earli·est)

1. near the beginning of a period of time, an event etc

• the early morning

• my earliest memories

• The project is still in the early stages.

• the early 1990s

• in the early days of space exploration (= when it was just beginning)

• The earliest possible date I can make it is the third.

• He's in his early twenties.

• Mozart's early works (= those written at the beginning of his career)

• Early booking is essential, as space is limited.

• The ruling overturned the court's earlier decision.

• The earliest description of this species dates from 1703.

2. arriving, or done before the usual, expected or planned time

• You're early! I wasn't expecting you till seven.

• The bus was ten minutes early.

• an early breakfast

• Let's make an early start tomorrow.

• She's an early riser (= she gets up early in the morning).

• He learnt to play the piano at an early age.

• early potatoes (= that are ready to eat at the beginning of the season)

Opp:  late 

more at bright and early at  bright  adj., the small/early hours at  hour, an early/a late night at  night 


Word Origin:

Old English (as an adverb) ǣrlīce (see ere, -ly), influenced by Old Norse árliga. The adjective use dates from Middle English.



early adj.

• Let's make an early start.

punctual • • prompt • • on time

Opp: late

be early/punctual for sth


Example Bank:

• I have to get up ridiculously early.

• I'm sorry I'm a bit early.

• It's a little early for lunch.

• These discoveries were made at a surprisingly early date.

• You're here awfully early, aren't you?

• He learned to play the piano at an early age.

• Let's make an early start tomorrow.

• She's an early riser.

• These are early potatoes.

• We had an early breakfast.

• You're an early bird this morning!

• You're early! I wasn't expecting you till seven.

Idioms: at your earliest convenience  early bird  early bird catches the worm  early on  it's early days

Derived Word: earliness 

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition

early / ˈɜː.li /   / ˈɝː- / adjective , adverb ( earlier , earliest )

A1 near the beginning of a period of time, or before the usual, expected, or planned time:

If you finish early you can go home.

If you arrived earlier, you'd have more time.

I like being a little early for interviews.

They scored two goals early (on) in the game.

I hate having to get up early ( in the morning).

I'm going to have an early night (= go to sleep before my usual time) .

She was a poet living in the early 15th century.

He learned to read at the early age of three.

It 's rather early to be sowing carrot seeds, isn't it?

Mercedes were pioneers during the early days/years of car manufacture.

My earliest (= first) memory is of being shown around our new house.

These are some of my early (= first) attempts at sculpture.

Here's a dish I prepared earlier (= I made a short time ago) .

→  Compare late adjective adverb (NEAR THE END)

Early flowers and vegetables are ones that are ready before ordinary ones. at the earliest C2 used after a date or time to show that something will not happen before then:

I'm very busy, so I won't be with you till four o'clock at the earliest.

© Cambridge University Press 2013

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary


(earlier, earliest)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Early means before the usual time that a particular event or activity happens.
I knew I had to get up early...
Why do we have to go to bed so early?
ADV: ADV after v

Early is also an adjective.
I decided that I was going to take early retirement...
I planned an early night.

Early means near the beginning of a day, week, year, or other period of time.
...in the 1970s and the early 1980s.
...a few weeks in early summer...
She was in her early teens.
...the early hours of Saturday morning.

Early is also an adverb.
We’ll hope to see you some time early next week.
...early in the season.
ADV: ADV with cl, ADV n/prep

Early means before the time that was arranged or expected.
She arrived early to secure a place at the front...
The first snow came a month earlier than usual.
ADV: ADV after v

Early is also an adjective.
I’m always early.

Early means near the beginning of a period in history, or in the history of something such as the world, a society, or an activity.
...the early stages of pregnancy.
...Fassbinder’s early films...
It’s too early to declare his efforts a success.

Early means near the beginning of something such as a piece of work or a process.
...the book’s early chapters.

Early is also an adverb.
...an incident which occurred much earlier in the game.
ADV: ADV with cl, ADV prep

Early refers to plants which flower or crop before or at the beginning of the main season.
...these early cabbages and cauliflowers.

Early is also an adverb.
...early flowering shrubs.
ADV: ADV with v

Early reports or indications of something are the first reports or indications about it. (FORMAL)
The early indications look encouraging...

You can use as early as to emphasize that a particular time or period is surprisingly early.
Inflation could fall back into single figures as early as this month.
PHRASE: PHR n [emphasis]

If you say about something that might be true that it is early days, you mean that it is too soon for you to be completely sure about it. (INFORMAL)
PHRASE: V inflects

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary: 


2early adj earlier; -est
1 a : existing or happening near the beginning of a period of time
early morning
• the early 20th century
• He is in his early thirties. [=he is about 31 or 32 years old]
• She works the early shift. [=the shift that is in the early part of the day]
• It was still early (in the morning) when she got out of bed.
- opposite late
b always used before a noun : happening near the beginning of a process, activity, series, etc.
• the early symptoms of the disease
• the composer's early works [=works created at the beginning of the composer's career]
• The early part of the book is better than the later part.
2 a : coming or happening before the usual or expected time
• We had an early spring this year.
• an early bedtime
• We're early. The show doesn't start for half an hour.
- opposite late
b : doing something before the usual time or before others usually do
• I've always been an early riser.
• My daughter was an early reader. [=she learned to read at a young age]
✦The expression the early bird catches/gets the worm means that people who start or arrive before others are more likely to succeed.
- opposite late
early days (yet) Brit
- used to say that it is too soon to know how something will turn out
• Things haven't gone well so far, but it's early days yet.
early hours
- see hour
get/make an early start : to get started on a journey, activity, etc., early in the day
• We want to make an early start tomorrow.
make an early night of it : to go home or go to bed early
• They decided to make an early night of it.


  1. Do you have enough time to do what you like? What would you do if you had more free time?
  2. Do you usually waste a lot of time? How?
  3. Is watching junk TV a waste of time?
  4. Are you a punctual person? What does it tell about you?
  5. What's your favorite time of the day/week/year? Why? What do you do at those times?
  6. Have you ever forgotten an important appointment? What happened?
  7. Do you usually show up early or late at parties?
  8. How do you feel when you are late for a class/appointment/date?
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