Definition of PREMATURE

PREMATURE Adjective and (less common) Noun

Premature is an adjective that describes something occurring, existing, or performed before the usual or expected time. It can also refer to a noun in medical contexts, specifically a baby born before the full term of pregnancy.

PREMATURE as an adjective

As an adjective, premature is used to characterize events, actions, or conditions that happen earlier than anticipated. For instance, a premature decision is one made without sufficient consideration or time. In health contexts, premature birth refers to babies born before 37 weeks of gestation, often requiring specialized medical care due to underdeveloped organs and systems.

PREMATURE as a noun

As a noun, premature is less commonly used but typically refers to a baby born prematurely. These infants, often termed “preemies,” may face various health challenges and need neonatal intensive care to support their development and survival.

Health Implications: In medical terms, a premature birth can lead to numerous complications, including respiratory distress, underdeveloped organs, and increased susceptibility to infections. Advances in neonatal care have significantly improved outcomes for premature infants, but early births remain a leading cause of infant mortality and long-term health issues.

Psychological and Emotional Impact: Parents of premature babies often experience heightened stress, anxiety, and emotional challenges. The uncertainty and medical complexities involved in caring for a premature infant can be overwhelming. Support systems, including counseling and support groups, play a vital role in helping families navigate these difficulties.

Premature Decisions and Actions: In everyday contexts, labeling a decision or action as premature suggests that it was taken without adequate preparation or before all necessary information was available. Such premature actions can lead to unintended consequences, mistakes, and the need for revisions or reversals.

Development and Growth: For premature babies, development milestones may differ from those of full-term infants. Tracking progress often involves adjusting for the early birth date, and developmental support services may be required to address physical, cognitive, and emotional needs. Research and innovation continue to improve the care and prognosis for these infants.

Premature Aging: The term premature can also be applied to aging processes, where an individual shows signs of aging earlier than typical. Premature aging can result from genetic factors, lifestyle choices, environmental exposures, or chronic health conditions, prompting the need for targeted medical and lifestyle interventions.

In conclusion, premature primarily serves as an adjective describing something happening before the expected time, with significant implications in medical, psychological, and everyday contexts. As a noun, it refers to infants born prematurely who may face various health challenges. Understanding and addressing the causes and effects of premature events, whether in health or decision-making, is crucial for mitigating risks and enhancing outcomes.

PREMATURE in a sentence

PREMATURE as an adjective in a sentence

  • The baby was born five weeks premature and required special care.
  • His premature decision to sell the stocks cost him a significant profit.
  • The announcement of the winner was premature, as the votes were still being counted.
  • The flowers bloomed premature due to an unusually warm winter.
  • Her premature departure from the meeting left many questions unanswered.
  • The athlete’s premature retirement shocked fans and analysts alike.
  • The premature wear and tear on the car was due to poor maintenance.
  • Critics argued that the premature release of the report caused unnecessary panic.

PREMATURE as a noun in a sentence

  • The doctors were experienced in caring for prematures in the neonatal intensive care unit.
  • Advances in medical technology have significantly improved the survival rates of prematures.
  • Parents of prematures often face unique challenges and require additional support.
  • The hospital has a dedicated wing for the care of prematures and their families.
  • Prematures often need specialized nutrition to support their growth and development.
  • She joined a support group for parents of prematures to share experiences and advice.
  • The charity focuses on research and resources for the health and well-being of prematures.
  • The medical team worked tirelessly to ensure the health and stability of the prematures in their care.

Etymology of PREMATURE

The term premature embarks on a linguistic journey, tracing its origins through centuries of linguistic development and cultural adaptation. Rooted in Latin influence, it has evolved into a term that signifies something occurring before the expected or proper time.

  • Latin Roots: The word premature originates from the Latin term “praematurus,” which combines “prae-” meaning “before” and “maturus” meaning “ripe” or “mature.” In its earliest usage, it denoted something happening or being done before the right or usual time.
  • Middle French Influence: The term transitioned into Middle French as “prématuré,” retaining its meaning of occurring before the appropriate time. This French influence helped shape the word’s entry into the English language.
  • Transition to English: The term entered Middle English in the late 14th century, maintaining its connotation of something happening too soon or before the proper time. It was often used in medical and biological contexts to describe events such as birth occurring earlier than expected.
  • Contemporary Usage: In contemporary usage, premature retains its historical meaning, typically referring to events or actions that occur earlier than anticipated or desired. It is commonly used in various contexts, including medical (e.g., premature birth), technological (e.g., premature release of a product), and general use to indicate untimeliness.

Premature stands as a testament to the precise interplay of timing and readiness in various aspects of life. From its Latin origins to its modern-day applications, the word reflects the enduring human concern with the appropriate timing of events and actions.


  • Preterm
  • Early
  • Unripe
  • Underdeveloped
  • Preterm birth
  • Too soon
  • Before time
  • Incomplete


  • Full-term
  • On time
  • Timely
  • Mature
  • Completed term
  • Full-grown
  • Developed
  • At term


  • Neonatal care
  • Prematurity
  • Gestational age
  • Neonatal health
  • NICU
  • Premature baby
  • Neonatal unit
  • Developmental challenges

🌐 🇬🇧 PREMATURE in other languages

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