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Adverb: earlier  ur-lee-u(r)
  1. Earlier in time; previously
    "he called me the day before but your call had come even earlier"; "her parents had died four years earlier"; "I mentioned that problem earlier";
    - before
     
  2. A comparative of 'soon' or 'early'
    "came earlier than I expected";
    - sooner
     
  3. Before now
    "why didn't you tell me earlier?";
    - in the first place, in the beginning, to begin with, originally
Adjective: earlier  ur-lee-u(r)
  1. (comparative and superlative of 'early') more early than; most early
    "a fashion popular in earlier times"; "his earlier work reflects the influence of his teacher";
    - earliest
Adjective: early (earlier,earliest)  ur-lee
  1. At or near the beginning of a period of time or course of events or before the usual or expected time
    "early morning"; "an early warning"; "early diagnosis"; "an early death"; "took early retirement"; "an early spring"; "early varieties of peas and tomatoes mature before most standard varieties"
     
  2. Being or occurring at an early stage of development
    "in an early stage"; "early forms of life"; "early man"; "an early computer"
     
  3. Belonging to the distant past
    "the early inhabitants of Europe";
    - former, other
     
  4. Very young
    "at an early age"
     
  5. (linguistics) of an early stage in the development of a language or literature
    "the Early Hebrew alphabetical script is that used mainly from the 11th to the 6th centuries B.C."; "Early Modern English is represented in documents printed from 1476 to 1700"
     
  6. Expected in the near future
    "look for an early end to the negotiations"

See also: aboriginal, advance, archaean, archaeozoic, archaic, archean [US], archeozoic, azoic, beforehand, crude, earlyish, embryonic, embryotic, first, future, immature, inchoate, incipient, new, Old, past, precocious, premature, previous, primaeval, primal, primeval, primitive, primordial, proterozoic, proto, rude, timing, untimely, wee, young

Antonym: late, middle

Encyclopedia: Early, TX