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


ahead, already, before, earlier, formerly, preliminarily, previously


after, afterward (or afterwards), later

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Examples of beforehand in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The date of executions is not announced in advance, and the condemned are usually only told a few hours beforehand. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Japan Executes Cult Leader Behind 1995 Sarin Gas Subway Attack," 5 July 2018 So basically, for the players, don't drink beforehand, and don't do it all night. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Sex at the World Cup: Some countries only let their players score *on* the field," 22 June 2018 The captain had told us beforehand that weddings and renewal ceremonies tend to follow a similar form, yet each is unique. Alex Pulaski,, "Say 'I do' and save money? Whoever thought you'd say that in the same sentence? But a cruise means both can happen," 10 June 2018 Nishino's men will then face off with Senegal before closing out the group against Poland, which could turn out to be a 'play-off' like scenario to see who advances if Japan can pick up points off Colombia and Senegal beforehand., "2018 FIFA World Cup Team Preview: Analysing Japan's Chances at the Tournament," 7 June 2018 Tina Fey Gets Tipsy In their hilarious presentation of the production design award, Steve Carrell calls out Tina Fey for drinking beforehand. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Moments at the 2016 Oscars," 29 Feb. 2016 But as with all health concerns, there are important things to consider beforehand., "Rushing To Get An IUD? Don't Forget This Important Factor," 11 July 2018 Charlie Weis was such a bad mistake, and so easy to see beforehand. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Sgt. Perez's lecture, the Chiefs' draft, Mahomes' future, KU's AD, and a Terez story | The Kansas City Star," 30 Apr. 2018 While the president and Mattis had discussed calling off exercises beforehand, Trump made his final decision without consulting his defense secretary, who did not attend the talks. Missy Ryan, Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, "At summit, Mattis faces uphill battle," 10 July 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

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for beforehand

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

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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).


not any or not one

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