American Dictionary of the English Language

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EARLINESS, noun er'liness. [See Early and Ere.]

A state of advance or forwardness; a state of being before anything, or at the beginning; as the earliness of rising in the morning is a rising at the dawn of the morning, or before the usual time of rising. So we speak of the earliness of spring, or the earliness of plants, to express a state somewhat in advance of the usual time of spring, or growth of plants.