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Adjective early has 6 senses
  1. early - 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"
    middle, intervening, mid, late, advanced, ripe, after-hours, latish, posthumous
  2. early - being or occurring at an early stage of development; "in an early stage"; "early forms of life"; "early man"; "an early computer"
    late, later, advanced, tardive
  3. early, former, other - of the distant past; "the early inhabitants of Europe"; "former generations"; "in other times"
    Antonym: present (indirect, via future, past)
    Antonym: future (indirect, via past, present)
  4. early - very young; "at an early age"
    old (indirect, via young)
  5. early - 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"
    middle, late, Modern, New
  6. early - expected in the near future; "look for an early end to the negotiations"
    past (indirect, via present, future)
    Antonym: present (indirect, via future, past)
Adverbial early has 3 senses
  1. early on, early - during an early stage; "early on in her career"
  2. early, ahead of time, too soon - before the usual time or the time expected; "she graduated early"; "the house was completed ahead of time"
    Antonyms: late, belatedly, tardily
  3. early, betimes - in good time; "he awoke betimes that morning"
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