here·​to·​fore ˈhir-tə-ˌfȯr How to pronounce heretofore (audio)
: up to this time : hitherto
heretofore unimaginable possibilities
I tell you now what we have heretofore kept secret from youA. C. Whitehead

Examples of heretofore in a Sentence

Heretofore her writing has never displayed such depth of feeling. This technology has created heretofore unimaginable possibilities.
Recent Examples on the Web The cramped two rooms sit on the museum’s top floor, giving a glimpse into the lives of a migrant group heretofore unseen on its premises. Charlie Hobbs, Condé Nast Traveler, 23 May 2024 Albany is considering a bill that would dramatically disregard fundamental principles of contract law and provide certain owners of cooperative apartments with heretofore unimagined benefits in the setting and renewal of ground leases between building and property owners. Anita W. Laremont, New York Daily News, 14 May 2024 The confrontation is a fantastically surprising moment in which the heretofore underestimated Natasha puts our heroine in her place. Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, Vulture, 1 Apr. 2024 As the Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant foresaw in the late eighteenth century, the result has been a seemingly perpetual peace heretofore unknown to Europe. Henry Kissinger, Foreign Affairs, 6 Sep. 2022 See all Example Sentences for heretofore 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heretofore.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of heretofore was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near heretofore

Cite this Entry

“Heretofore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


here·​to·​fore ˈhi(ə)rt-ə-ˌfō(ə)r How to pronounce heretofore (audio)
: up to this time

More from Merriam-Webster on heretofore

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!