1. [ adjective ] occurring earlier in time

"on earlier occasions"

Related terms: past
2. [ adverb ] earlier in time; previously
Synonyms: before

"I had known her before" "as I said before" "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"

3. [ adverb ] comparatives of `soon' or `early'
Synonyms: sooner

"Come a little sooner, if you can" "came earlier than I expected"

4. [ adverb ] before now
Synonyms: in_the_first_place to_begin_with in_the_beginning originally

"why didn't you tell me in the first place?"

5. [ adjective ] (comparative and superlative of `early') more early than; most early
Synonyms: earliest

"a fashion popular in earlier times" "his earlier work reflects the influence of his teacher" "Verdi's earliest and most raucous opera"

Related terms: comparative early