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. Of or belonging to a previous or remote period of time: the early inhabitants of the British Isles. Of or belonging to an initial stage of development: an early form of life; an early computer. Occurring, developing, or appearing before the expected or usual time: an early spring; an early retirement. Maturing or developing relatively soon: an early variety of tomato. Occurring in the near future: Observers predicted an early end to the negotiations. 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. At or near the beginning of the morning: She never used to get up so early. At or during a remote or initial period: decided very early to go into medicine. Before the expected or usual time: arrived at the meeting a few minutes early. 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, [he] found that being honest and being funny were almost the same thing\u201d ( Maureen Orth).