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

And other heretofore practically unknown-to-Seattle dishes must be taste-tested, including, in the dumpling department, both pelmeni ($10) and vareniki ($9). Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "Feels like family: Seattle’s Dacha Diner might be your new favorite place," 29 Mar. 2019 Aesthetics, heretofore largely ignored in the elder-tech industry, will likely become central. Joseph F. Coughlin And Luke Yoquinto, WSJ, "Technology for Older People Doesn’t Have to Be Ugly," 14 Oct. 2018 Michael Avenatti, heretofore best known as Stormy Daniels's attorney, delivered on his promise to launch new allegations against Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Brett Kavanaugh Says "I Said and Did Things in High School That Make Me Cringe Now" As Even More Disturbing Allegations Emerge," 26 Sep. 2018 The 2016-era MacBook Pro redesign does a lot of things well, but its minimalist port selection and stiff, shallow, and (heretofore) failure-prone keyboards remain polarizing two years later. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, "macOS 10.14 Mojave: The Ars Technica review," 24 Sep. 2018 Now, reports the Daily Mail, an author named Charles Custillo, while researching for his biography, Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon, has discovered a heretofore unknown nude scene from the film The Misfits. Marie Claire, "A Long-Lost Marilyn Monroe Naked Scene Was Found," 13 Aug. 2018 Michael Bloomberg, heretofore the Hamlet of American presidential politics, has seriously considered, and ultimately rejected, running for the White House at least twice, in 2008 and 2016. Logan Jenkins,, "For true moderates, New Yorker tops Dem dream ticket," 9 July 2018 Clicking in bets from a mobile phone with its promise of immediate reinforcement, win or lose, will drive gambling behavior to heretofore unimaginable heights. WSJ, "Being Able to Gamble 24/7 Means Increased Gambling," 10 June 2018 Schoop is the sixth hitter to occupy the leadoff spot his season, which is also a reminder that the Orioles have heretofore not been able to develop a true leadoff man since Brian Roberts. Peter Schmuck,, "Schmuck: Orioles have played one-third of season and still seem to have no idea where they're headed," 30 May 2018

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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Statistics for heretofore

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for heretofore

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

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More Definitions for heretofore



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heretofore

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


using a distributed computer network

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