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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Now, state transportation officials — who are the most knowledgeable on what is actually needed and have heretofore been taking the back seat in this process — have to figure out which projects get funding. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 24 Sep. 2021 Everywhere is somebody’s backyard (broadly defined), and even developing countries that heretofore had not been broadly concerned about the environmental impact of projects have been more vigorous in curtailing development. Adam Eagleston, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 In 1966, Congress passed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, which empowered the federal government to set safety standards for automobiles, a matter heretofore left largely to the states. The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021 If the lake continues to recede to historic levels, a heretofore unseen proportion of the lake's microbialites will be exposed, a news release said. Lucy Kafanov, CNN, 17 July 2021 Pretzel Nuggets Even better than the peanut butter ones, which was heretofore thought to be impossible. Alex Begg, Bon Appétit, 30 June 2021 Jakob, a heretofore unknown brother of Dom (played by John Cena), emerges from the underworld ether to attempt to commandeer a fearsome weapon capable of redrawing the global balance of power. Chris Lee, Vulture, 16 June 2021 While heretofore unseen at the federal level, a retroactive income tax hike, a large one at that, is not without precedent in the states. Patrick Gleason, Forbes, 1 June 2021 To the staff’s surprise, the package contained a heretofore unknown, handwritten account of the massacre and its aftermath. Paul Gardullo, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 May 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of heretofore

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About heretofore

Time Traveler for heretofore

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near heretofore




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for heretofore

Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Heretofore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for heretofore



English Language Learners Definition of heretofore

: 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on heretofore

Nglish: Translation of heretofore for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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