adverb or adjective
be·​fore·​hand | \ bi-ˈfȯr-ˌhand How to pronounce beforehand (audio) , 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

In both cases, the family had checked beforehand with the restaurants to see if there was sesame in the food. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "FDA Considers Making Food Labels Disclose Sesame to Help Allergy Sufferers," 12 Nov. 2018 Each airline lists certain routes, destinations and airports that require an earlier check-in or arrival at the gate, (like a trip to Micronesia or a flight from Dublin to the U.S.), so make sure to check beforehand. Sophia Gottfried, Time, "How Early Should You Get to the Airport? Here's What Travel Experts Say," 26 June 2018 So check the website or social media presence beforehand to confirm that a market is still active. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "Fresh produce, trendy items, hot food available in local farmers market scene," 4 June 2018 Speaking of entrances, event planners will check locks on the doors beforehand. New York Times, "Planning Trump-Kim Meeting: Who Sits Where, What Will They Eat and Who Pays?," 3 June 2018 Although 8th graders began online LEAP testing for the first time in last May, Louisiana's students took the NAEP online beforehand in January of last year, White said April 6. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii,, "Louisiana students show mixed outcomes in 'Nation's Report Card'," 10 Apr. 2018 Exfoliate the area gently beforehand to get an even closer shave and ward off ingrown hairs. Megan Gustashaw, Glamour, "So You Want to Shave Your Bikini Line...," 23 Mar. 2019 Make sure to consult with your colorist beforehand and be ready to do the maintenance work. Wendy Sy, Allure, "Aura Friedman Explains How She Turned Leighton Meester Into a Platinum Blonde," 4 Apr. 2018 Meghan is still in the clear, and consulted doctors beforehand, the source adds to BAZAAR. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Will Travel to Morocco with Prince Harry While Seven Months Pregnant," 8 Feb. 2019

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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Statistics for beforehand

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce beforehand (audio) \

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).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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