adverb or conjunction or preposition

chiefly dialectal
: before

Word History


Middle English aforen, aforn, afore, going back to Old English onforan, from on on entry 1 + foran "(from) in front, before," from fore "in front, fore entry 2" + -an, -ane "from (a place)" (going back to Germanic *-na) — more at aft entry 1

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of afore was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near afore

Cite this Entry

“Afore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


adverb or conjunction or preposition
ə-ˈfō(ə)r How to pronounce afore (audio)
chiefly dialect
: before
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