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Meaning of BEFORE

Pronunciation:  bi'fowr

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [adv]  earlier in time; previously; "I had known her before"; "as I said before"; "he called me the day before but your call had come even earlier"; "her parents had died four years earlier"; "I mentioned that problem earlier"
  2. [adv]  at or in the front; "I see the lights of a town ahead"; "the road ahead is foggy"; "staring straight ahead"; "we couldn't see over the heads of the people in front"; "with the cross of Jesus marching on before"

BEFORE is a 6 letter word that starts with B.


 Synonyms: ahead, earlier, in front



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Be*fore"\, prep. [OE. beforen, biforen, before, AS.
    beforan; pref. be- + foran, fore, before. See {Be-}, and
    1. In front of; preceding in space; ahead of; as, to stand
       before the fire; before the house.
             His angel, who shall go Before them in a cloud and
             pillar of fire.                       --Milton.
    2. Preceding in time; earlier than; previously to; anterior
       to the time when; -- sometimes with the additional idea of
       purpose; in order that.
             Before Abraham was, I am.             --John viii.
             Before this treatise can become of use, two points
             are necessary.                        --Swift.
    Note: Formerly before, in this sense, was followed by that.
          ``Before that Philip called thee . . . I saw thee.''
          --John i. 48.
    3. An advance of; farther onward, in place or time.
             The golden age . . . is before us.    --Carlyle.
    4. Prior or preceding in dignity, order, rank, right, or
       worth; rather than.
             He that cometh after me is preferred before me.
                                                   --John i. 15.
             The eldest son is before the younger in succession.
    5. In presence or sight of; face to face with; facing.
             Abraham bowed down himself before the people. --Gen.
                                                   xxiii. 12.
             Wherewith shall I come before the Lord? --Micah vi.
    6. Under the cognizance or jurisdiction of.
             If a suit be begun before an archdeacon. --Ayliffe.
    7. Open for; free of access to; in the power of.
             The world was all before them where to choose.
    {Before the mast} (Naut.), as a common sailor, -- because the
       sailors live in the forecastle, forward of the foremast.
    {Before the wind} (Naut.), in the direction of the wind and
       by its impulse; having the wind aft.
  2. \Be*fore"\, adv.
    1. On the fore part; in front, or in the direction of the
       front; -- opposed to {in the rear}.
             The battle was before and behind.     --2 Chron.
                                                   xiii. 14.
    2. In advance. ``I come before to tell you.'' --Shak.
    3. In time past; previously; already.
             You tell me, mother, what I knew before. --Dryden.
    4. Earlier; sooner than; until then.
             When the butt is out, we will drink water; not a
             drop before.                          --Shak.
    Note: Before is often used in self-explaining compounds; as,
          before-cited, before-mentioned; beforesaid.
Thesaurus Terms
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