adverb or adjective
be·​fore·​hand | \ bi-ˈfȯr-ˌhand , bē-\

Definition of beforehand

1a : in anticipation
b : in advance
2 : ahead of time : early

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Synonyms & Antonyms for beforehand


early, inopportunely, precociously, prematurely, unseasonably


belatedly, late, tardily

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Examples of beforehand in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Joey Gallo coaxed another, but worked the count full beforehand. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Homesick: Astros' woes at MMP continue with shutout loss to Rangers," 12 May 2018 Beginning in 1997, the band booked The Plant Recording Studios without any songs worked out beforehand, leaving it to themselves to organically compose an album’s worth of material in the time allotted. Ryan Gabos, Billboard, "From 'Crash' to 'Crush': 20 Years of Dave Matthews Band's Haunting Masterwork 'Before These Crowded Streets'," 27 Apr. 2018 Why do Nunes and Gowdy get a briefing beforehand, especially given Nunes’ past actions in this probe? Chuck Todd, NBC News, "Separate classified briefing for Nunes and Gowdy raises eyebrows," 24 May 2018 While rumors of the news started to circulate beforehand, Kensington Palace officially revealed Meghan as the National Theatre's new royal patron on January 10, 2019. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle & Kate Middleton's First Royal Patronages Have a Lot in Common," 10 Jan. 2019 The utility released new information this week indicating that one of its power lines near where the Camp Fire started Nov. 8 came apart immediately beforehand and fell from the metal tower that held it aloft. Russell Gold, WSJ, "PG&E Falsified Gas Safety Records, California Claims," 14 Dec. 2018 The test tunnel celebrated Tuesday cost about $10 million to complete, Mr. Musk told reporters beforehand. Tim Higgins, WSJ, "Inside Elon Musk’s Tunnel to Alleviate ‘Soul-Destroying’ Traffic," 19 Dec. 2018 Critics, including some Republicans, have said Trump gave away important leverage by agreeing to meet Kim as an equal, without an explicit agreement about nuclear weapons eradication beforehand. Philip Rucker, Anchorage Daily News, "In a bid for history, Trump flatters North Korea's totalitarian leader," 12 June 2018 As well as watching the first day of the tennis, Middleton also met with servicemen at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club beforehand. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Wore a Dolce & Gabbana Polka Dot Dress to Wimbledon," 3 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beforehand.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of beforehand

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for beforehand

The first known use of beforehand was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for beforehand



English Language Learners Definition of beforehand

: in advance : at an earlier or previous time


be·​fore·​hand | \ bi-ˈfȯr-ˌhand \

Kids Definition of beforehand

: at an earlier or previous time They decided beforehand to leave early.

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Comments on beforehand

What made you want to look up beforehand? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


very full or close together

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