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

All South Korean nationals involved in the project had been evacuated beforehand, the ministry said. James Hookway, WSJ, "Hundreds Missing in Laos After Dam Collapses," 24 July 2018 And if not every angle, move and cut was arranged beforehand, the key moments had clearly been mapped for maximum effect. Robert Lloyd,, "A TV critic on watching Beyoncé's Coachella performance at home," 17 Apr. 2018 While the incident has not been linked to the other bombings that have left the city on edge, less than an hour beforehand authorities did link the other five bombings to each other. Alexia Fernandez,, "Explosion at Texas Goodwill Leaves 1 Injured, Police Say It Isn't Connected to the 5 Austin Bombings," 20 Mar. 2018 Some locations do not take any furniture, so check beforehand. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Where to donate furniture and household items," 8 Nov. 2018 And for now, keep yourself occupied by adding to your wish list — and maybe even shop during the Beauty Insider sale beforehand. Kristin Corpuz, Allure, "Sephora Just Announced Its First Black Friday Deal and It’s Even Better Than We Imagined," 2 Nov. 2018 In certain spiritual practices, you're asked to wash your head in a mixture of organic goat's milk and coconut milk beforehand. Bri Luna, Glamour, "I'm a Real Witch, and I Spend $7,855 a Year on My Beauty Rituals," 31 Oct. 2018 State law also allows the Department of Corrections to withhold a public announcement of the time of the execution until 48 hours beforehand. Dave Kolpack, The Seattle Times, "South Dakota to execute inmate on Monday for guard’s slaying," 26 Oct. 2018 According to Twitter user Nicole, Shawn previously stopped to greet fans beforehand and was more than happy to take pictures with all of them. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Shawn Mendes’ Fans Aren't Happy After Upsetting New Airport Video Surfaces," 25 Oct. 2018

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

8 Dec 2018

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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).


a knickknack or trinket

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