pre·ma·ture (prē′mə-tyr, -tr, -chr)
1. Occurring, growing, or existing before the customary, correct, or assigned time; uncommonly or unexpectedly early: a premature end.
2. Born after a gestation period of less than the normal time: a premature infant.
[Middle English, ripe, from Latin praemātūrus, ripe too early : prae-, pre- + mātūrus, ripe; see mā-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
pre′ma·tureness, pre′ma·turi·ty n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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