Synonyms for Earlier:

adj.

all (adjective)
earliest.
former (adjective)
preceding.
preceding (adjective)
avant-garde, early, foregoing, introductory, preceding, anteceding.

n.

barely, first, Since, by the time. advance, ago, at one time, once, precede, one day. time. earlier (noun)
before, earliest, early, in the beginning, in the first place, originally, past, sooner, to begin with.

Other synonyms:

barely, Since. past. first. ahead of time
advance.
formerly
once.
Other relevant words:
advance, ago, at one time, before, earliest, first, in the beginning, in the first place, once, originally, past, precede, sooner, to begin with.

Usage examples for earlier

  1. " Oh, but, my dear," cried Mrs. Orgreave, " why ever didn't you tell them downstairs, or let me know earlier – Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett
  2. Entered the fur trade as a young man, 1760, or perhaps earlier – The Makers of Canada: Index and Dictionary of Canadian History by Various
  3. Yes, she said, Cloud must have come in within five minutes of my leaving- two hours earlier than he was expected. – The Matador of the Five Towns and Other Stories by Arnold Bennett