Definition of premature in English:



  • 1Occurring or done before the usual or proper time; too early.

    ‘the sun can cause premature aging’
    [with infinitive] ‘it would be premature to do so at this stage’
    • ‘New research suggests that psychological stress may play a role in premature aging.’
    • ‘Free radicals are thought to be responsible for helping to cause premature ageing, heart disease and cancer.’
    • ‘The attack brought on premature labour that lasted two and half days.’
    • ‘Apart from the associations with premature ageing, darker hair suits my Anglo-Asian olive skin.’
    • ‘However, the authors believe that many of these premature deaths are preventable.’
    • ‘Occasionally, the author appears to overreach his material to draw premature conclusions.’
    • ‘To discard potential new directions for research at this early stage would be premature.’
    • ‘In the 70 years since his premature death, he has inspired plays, films, novels and songs.’
    • ‘This, he said, would be premature, as a date has not yet been decided for the relocation of the jobs.’
    • ‘She is only 48 years old - premature ageing is another common feature of these people.’
    • ‘The sun is the number one cause of premature ageing and skin damage.’
    • ‘It is premature to talk of lessons while fighting is still going on.’
    • ‘We should oppose these attempts to force through a premature consensus.’
    • ‘As well as being sore and unsightly, sunburn causes premature ageing and puts you at risk of skin cancer.’
    • ‘At present, we have the highest rate of premature death from heart disease in the EU.’
    • ‘He seemed to have brought a premature end to his international career.’
    untimely, early, too soon, too early, before time
    rash, overhasty, hasty, too soon, precipitate, precipitous, impulsive, impetuous, ill-timed, ill-considered
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    1. 1.1(of a baby) born before the end of the full term of gestation, especially three or more weeks before.
      • ‘The main risks for premature babies are infection and breathing difficulties.’
      • ‘After all, babies are born premature or late for a reason - especially in the case of prematurity.’
      • ‘The outlook is bleak for children born extremely premature according to a new British study.’
      • ‘The twins were born four months premature at Stepping Hill Hospital.’
      • ‘We saw tiny premature babies who would spend their first birthday in hospital.’
      • ‘SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) can happen to any baby, but premature babies and low birth-weight babies are more at risk.’
      • ‘A miracle baby who was born three months premature is set to celebrate her first birthday.’
      • ‘In the cot next to his was a tiny baby who had been born 12 weeks premature, she recalls.’
      • ‘Three teenage boys had their legs waxed in front of hundreds of their school pals to raise money for premature babies.’
      • ‘She told how the woman was anxious about her baby's health because he had been born seven weeks premature.’
      • ‘His observations led to the careful control of oxygen delivery to premature babies.’
      • ‘Measles in pregnancy can cause miscarriage, premature labour or a baby with low birth weight.’
      • ‘Some premature babies suffer from breathing difficulties but this did not appear to be the case with Jennifer.’
      • ‘Two thirds of babies who die shortly after birth are born premature.’
      • ‘Pregnant mothers too require blood transfusions from time to time as do some premature babies.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ripe, mature): from Latin praematurus very early from prae before + maturus ripe.