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An unnaturally early death. Usually used in reference to a behavior that will bring about such a death. You're headed toward an early grave if you keep drinking the way you do now. My mom is always telling me, "If you keep staying out till all hours of the night, you're going to put me in an early grave!"
dig (oneself) an early grave
To do things or act in a way that is likely to result in one's premature death. You're going to dig yourself an early grave if you keep drinking as much as you do now.
dig (someone) an early grave
To do things or act in a way that is likely to result in someone's premature death. The stress of John's job is going to dig him an early grave.
drive (oneself) to an early grave
To do things or act in a way that is likely to result in one's premature death. You're going to drive yourself to an early grave if you keep drinking as much as you do now.
drive (someone) to an early grave
To do things or act in a way that is likely to result in someone's premature death. The stress of John's job is going to drive him to an early grave.
send (someone) to an early grave
1. To do things or act in a way that is likely to result in one's premature death. You're going to send yourself to an early grave if you keep drinking as much as you do now.
2. To do things or act in a way that is likely to result in someone's premature death. The stress of John's job is going to send him to an early grave.
The beginning period or phase of some entity, trend, or phenomenon. The phrase is used when such a thing is being recalled at a later time. In the early days of this project, I expected a very different outcome than what we have seen. Back in the early days, the company that became this multinational corporation only had four employees!
1. Someone who is more active and alert in the early hours of the morning than later in the day; an early riser. I tried dating an early bird once, but since I like to sleep in late, it didn't really work out. I suppose it's more out of necessity than anything, but I turned into an early bird as soon as I had kids.
2. Someone who arrives early to an event. We'd better have everything ready for the garage sale—the early birds will be here sniffing around before we get a chance to set up.
at an early date
soon; some day soon. The note said, "Please call me at an early date." You are expected to return the form to the office at an early date.
at someone's earliest convenience
as soon as it is possible for someone to do something. (This is also a polite way of saying immediately.) Please stop by my office at your earliest convenience. Bill, please have the oil changed at your earliest convenience.
bright and early
very early in the morning or the workday. Yes, I'll be there bright and early. I want to see you here on time tomorrow, bright and early, or you're fired!
1. . Fig. a person who gets up early. I never miss sunrise. I'm an early bird. The early birds were up at dawn and ready for breakfast.
2. Fig. a person who arrives early. The early birds get the best seats. There were some early birds who arrived before the party was set to start.
3. Fig. having to do with early arrival. (Usually hyphenated.) Early-bird arrivals will be given a free cup of coffee. The early-bird special this week is a free six-pack of iced tea for the first 100 visitors.
The early bird catches the worm.
Prov. If you wake up and get to work early, you will succeed. (Sometimes used to remark that someone is awake and working surprisingly early, as in the first example.) Fred: What are you doing in the office at 7:30 A.M.? Jane: The early bird catches the worm. I didn't expect to see you studying at the library at this hour of the morning. The early bird catches the worm, huh?
early; at an early stage. We recognized the problem early on, but we waited too long to do something about it. This doesn't surprise me. I knew about it early on.
Early ripe, early rotten,and Soon ripe, soon rotten.
Prov. A child with extraordinary talent or intelligence will probably lose those qualities by the time he or she grows up. Jill: Philip was such a fine young boy; I'm surprised he's become such a good-for-nothing adult. Jane: Early ripe, early rotten. Jane: You must be very proud of your little boy. He seems so mature for his age. Ellen: I'm afraid it won't last. You know what they say: "Soon ripe, soon rotten."
Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Prov. Going to bed early and waking up early is good for success. Grandmother: I don't think it's good for you to be staying out so late, dear. Early to bed and early to rise—Grandson: Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Yeah, Grandma, I know. Host: Don't leave so soon! The party's just beginning. Guest: It's past my bedtime, I'm afraid. Host: Early to bed, early to rise, huh?
gotta get up pretty early in the morning to (do something)
Rur. it would be difficult to do something (specified) because of the ability or quality involved. You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to cheat Bill Johnson. He's a sharp businessman for sure. You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to know your Bible better than Preacher Harris.
bright and early
very early in the morning You'll have to be at the airport bright and early to make that flight.
at your earliest convenience
as soon as you can Call me back at your earliest convenience.
shortly after the beginning He decided early on that this was the perfect school for him.
it's early days (yet)
it is too soon to make a judgment about something It looks like we will earn a profit, but it's early days yet and we can't be sure.
bright and early
very early in the morning You're up bright and early.
an early bath(British & Australian informal)
if you take an early bath, you are forced to stop doing an activity sooner than you intended to
Usage notes: This phrase is often used about sports such as football.The spokesman took an early bath after a series of embarrassing and incorrect statements. And that's his second yellow card so it looks like an early bath for Taylor.
an early bird
someone who gets up early in the morning Ellen's the early bird in this house, not me.
it's early days (yet)(British & Australian)
something that you say which means that it is too soon to make a judgement about something Both teams are near the bottom of the league, but it's early days yet.
The early bird catches the worm.
something that you say in order to tell someone that if they want to be successful they should do something immediately If you see a job that interests you, apply as soon as possible. The early bird catches the worm.
at one's convenience
Also, at one's earliest convenience. Whenever one wishes; also, as soon as one can. For example, Pick up the car any time, at your convenience, or We need that drawing very soon, so please finish it at your earliest convenience. The use of convenience in the sense of "ease" or "absence of trouble" dates from about 1700.
See also: convenience
bright and early
Early in the morning, at dawn, as in It's a long trip, so we'll have to start out bright and early. The bright here presumably alludes to the brilliance of the dawning sun, which has long been noted by poets. [Early 1800s]
early bird catches the worm
Also, early bird gets the worm. One who arrives first has the best chance for success, as in She's always the first one in line and does well at these auctions-the early bird catches the worm! This proverbial saying, first recorded in English in 1605, is so familiar that it is often shortened to early bird, a term also used in the sense of "early riser", as in You can call me at seven-I'm an early bird, as well as "early diner" ( This restaurant has early-bird specials at lower prices).
At an early stage in a process or course of events, as in He started using computers very early on. [1920s]
early to bed, early to rise (makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise)
Prudent habits pay off, as in With final exams coming, you'd best remember, early to bed and early to rise. This ancient rhyming proverb, so familiar that it is often abbreviated as in the example, was long ascribed to Benjamin Franklin, who quoted it in this form in Poor Richard's Almanack. However, slightly different versions existed in English in the mid-1400s and in Latin even earlier.
n. dawn; early morning. (Streets.) He was away every day, early black to early beam.
See early beams
1. n. a person who gets up early. The early birds saw the corpse on the street and called the cops.
2. n. a person who arrives early. There were some early birds who arrived before the tea things were laid.
3. mod. having to do with early arrival. Early bird arrivals will be given a free cup of coffee.
n. dusk; early evening. (Streets.) He was away every day, early black to early beams.
At an early stage or point: Early on in the movie, the main character loses his job.