here·​to·​fore | \ ˈhir-tə-ˌfȯr How to pronounce heretofore (audio) , ˌhir-tə-ˈfȯr \

Definition of heretofore

: up to this time : hitherto heretofore unimaginable possibilities I tell you now what we have heretofore kept secret from you— A. C. Whitehead

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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 After years of public calls to censor Donald Trump on Twitter – which heretofore have not been granted — Twitter is finally introducing a policy that could add warning labels to the President's most inflammatory and threatening Tweets. Anabel Pasarow,, "Trump’s Tweets Have Gotten So Bad That Twitter Might Start Giving Them Warning Labels," 28 June 2019 The Rise of Skywalker even brings back Luke’s lightsaber and throws in Leia’s heretofore unseen lightsaber for good measure. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Why It's Problematic That Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Retcons the Plot of The Last Jedi," 20 Dec. 2019 So, how is Pete Buttigieg going to complete the heretofore unachieved task of automatically enrolling eligible people for government benefits? Libby Watson, The New Republic, "Pete Buttigieg’s Health Care Plan Is the Worst Yet," 19 Sep. 2019 The sheer volume of people seeking access to liberal societies has left natives fearing for their own heretofore-unquestioned centrality. The Economist, "Open Future Is liberalism really kaput?," 4 Dec. 2019 But the really killer app is the ZR2's front and rear locking differentials, which mean that the truck can also handle the kind of technical, demanding trails that were heretofore the exclusive domain of the Wrangler Rubicon. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Six Best Trucks You Can Buy Right Now," 26 Nov. 2019 Goldman Sachs advised Slack on its direct listing this past summer, with the workplace software firm following Spotify (which went public via direct listing in 2018) in pursuing a heretofore unconventional route. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "The Death of the Tech Unicorn Has Been Greatly Exaggerated, According to Goldman’s Top Tech Banker," 26 Nov. 2019 The Knicks made the Spurs’ heretofore flimsy defense appear impregnable. Jeff Mcdonald,, "For ailing Spurs, Knicks prove just the cure," 23 Nov. 2019 The other was engaged by a fictional competitor to that company to attack its reputation on social media and besmirch its heretofore nonexistent reputation. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Rent-a-troll: Researchers pit disinformation farmers against each other," 10 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of heretofore

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for heretofore

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for heretofore

Last Updated

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Heretofore.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for heretofore


How to pronounce heretofore (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of heretofore

formal : until this time : before now


here·​to·​fore | \ ˈhir-tə-ˌfȯr How to pronounce heretofore (audio) \

Kids Definition of heretofore

: up to this time Our school has heretofore never closed.

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More from Merriam-Webster on heretofore

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heretofore

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heretofore

Spanish Central: Translation of heretofore

Nglish: Translation of heretofore for Spanish Speakers

Comments on heretofore

What made you want to look up heretofore? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


experienced by way of someone else

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