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

Example Sentences

Heretofore her writing has never displayed such depth of feeling. This technology has created heretofore unimaginable possibilities.
Recent Examples on the Web The Education Department located a heretofore obscure corner of the 2003 Heroes Act that supposedly justified mass loan cancellations owing to the Covid emergency. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 1 Dec. 2022 Everyone will at least see the Mainline Sports Bar, located in the racetrack's ground-floor main hall, just north of the paddock and between the main elevator and what has heretofore been Oaklawn's longest row of teller stations. Arkansas Online, 5 Dec. 2022 Put him in the Eastern Conference, and the Heat’s challenge over the next decade could rise to levels arguably heretofore unseen during the Pat Riley era. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 12 Nov. 2022 After falling hard for Ferdinand, Prince of Naples (a terrific Ro Boddie), Prospero’s heretofore innocent daughter, Miranda (Megan Graves, priceless), shifts abruptly into come-hither mode, to hilarious effect. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2022 That put the Spurs ahead by 20 over heretofore hapless Oklahoma City. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 30 Nov. 2022 And while Musk has made big promises to expand the platform’s user base, one of the factors that has heretofore prevented this expansion is the site’s propensity for enabling abuse and harassment. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 6 Oct. 2022 The call-up means the war will enter the homes of most Russians in a way that Mr. Putin has heretofore avoided. Adrian Karatnycky, WSJ, 27 Sep. 2022 The global fragrance industry has been intoxicated by the notion that the genetics of smell could help them to entice heretofore reluctant consumers. Abigail Tucker, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Sep. 2022 See More

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

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 5 Feb. 2023.

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
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