ahead of time

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ahead of (one's)/its time

More advanced or innovative than is or was typical in a particular era. That 19th-century scientist was definitely ahead of his time with his detailed plan of space travel. I can't believe that movie is from the 1950s—it's so progressive and way ahead of its time.
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ahead of (someone or something's) time

More innovative than can be properly appreciated in someone or something's lifetime. He was really ahead of his time with this music—critics in the 1970s just couldn't see it. That show was really ahead of its time tackling issues like that.
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ahead of time

Earlier than a given deadline. If we get to the theater ahead of time, we'll have our pick of good seats. My term paper isn't due until next week, but I finished it ahead of time.
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*ahead of one's time

Fig. having ideas or attitudes that are too advanced to be acceptable in the present. (*Typically: be ~; think ~.) Sue's grandmother was ahead of her time in wanting to study medicine.
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*ahead of time

beforehand; before the announced time. (*Typically: arrive ~; get there ~; leave ~; show up ~.) If you show up ahead of time, you will have to wait. Be there ahead of time if you want to get a good seat.
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ahead of time

Earlier, sooner, as in The meeting was scheduled for three o'clock, but most people arrived ahead of time. [Early 1900s]
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ahead of/behind ˈtime

early/late: He arrived ahead of time, and had to wait.The trains are running behind time again today.
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