Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Occurring, growing, or existing before the customary, correct, or assigned time; uncommonly or unexpectedly early.
  • adjective Born after a gestation period of less than the normal time.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Arriving too early at maturity; mature or ripe before the proper time; hence, coming into existence or occurring too soon; too early; untimely; overhasty.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Mature or ripe before the proper time.
  • adjective Happening, arriving, existing, or performed before the proper or usual time; adopted too soon; too early; untimely
  • adjective Arriving or received without due authentication or evidence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Occurring before a state of readiness or maturity has arrived.
  • adjective Taking place earlier than anticipated, prepared for, or desired.
  • adjective informal Suffering from premature ejaculation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective uncommonly early or before the expected time
  • adjective born after a gestation period of less than the normal time
  • adjective too soon or too hasty

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, ripe, from Latin praemātūrus, ripe too early : prae-, pre- + mātūrus, ripe; see mā- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

circa 1520, From Latin praematurus, equivalent to pre- +‎ mature.

Examples

  • The most general and inclusive way in which to designate all the phenomena that sociology proper considers, without importing into the term premature hypotheses by way of explanation, is to assert that they are the phenomena of "contact" between persons.

    Introduction to the Science of Sociology

  • Mr. Bush warned against what he called a premature withdrawal of U.S. forces, saying the troop increase he ordered needs time to work.

    CNN Transcript Jul 4, 2007

  • Mr. Bush will repeat his mantra about the harm he says withdrawing troops prematurely would cause and vow not to set what he calls premature deadlines.

    CNN Transcript Dec 7, 2005

  • In a statement in Pretoria CP leader Dr Ferdi Hartzenberg also cautioned against what he called the premature outlining of borders for such a "volkstaat".

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • So, the chairman of the commission died pretty young, in his early 40's from what I call premature senility, that is, arteriosclerosis, which is unusual, but he did and died very suddenly.

    Oral History Interview with Lucy Somerville Howorth, June 20, 22, and 23, 1975. Interview G-0028. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)

  • Now sir, that is what I call a premature judgment!

    The Man With The Broken Ear

  • Train traffic had been worsened Tuesday by a wildcat strike by Belgian train drivers protesting what they called the premature blaming of one their own for the accident.

    WCAX - Local News

  • Train traffic had been worsened Tuesday by a wildcat strike by Belgian train drivers protesting what they called the premature blaming of one their own for the accident.

    Fore, right!

  • Trustee Kirsten Livak apologized to audience members about what she described as a premature announcement.

    Sierra Sun - Top Stories

  • Train traffic had been worsened Tuesday by a wildcat strike by Belgian train drivers protesting what they called the premature blaming of one their own for the accident.

    The Seattle Times

Comments

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  • "We have news that 17 Battery has had a premature. No one killed but one gunner injured. This was strange as the gun had just come back from workshops, where it had been repaired for a previous premature."

    - Spike Milligan, 'Mussolini: My Part In His Downfall.'

    April 19, 2009