hith·er·to | \ˈhi-t͟hər-ˌtü, ˌhi-t͟hər-ˈtü\

Definition of hitherto 

: up to this or that time reveals some hitherto unknown facts about her life

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Examples of hitherto in a Sentence

at the talent show Kyle revealed his hitherto unknown gift for doing impressions

Recent Examples on the Web

Wang Qishan, who has led Mr Xi’s crackdown on corruption, was made vice-president, a hitherto ceremonial position that may now be beefed up to oversee relations with America. The Economist, "Politics this week," 22 Mar. 2018 The hitherto relied upon veterans such as Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Javi Martinez have now been replaced with the exuberance of Isco, Asensio and Saul Niguez. SI.com, "2018 FIFA World Cup Team Preview: Analysing Spain's Chances at the Tournament," 31 May 2018 Maybe a hitherto brutal dictator is looking for the survival strategy that Mr. Trump has offered. Tony Abbott, WSJ, "An Ally Sizes Up Donald Trump," 13 July 2018 In another industrial revolution, humans are making new things in novel ways into hitherto impossible shapes, using the technology of a fizzled craze: 3D printing. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "3D Printing Is the Future of Factories (for Real This Time)," 11 July 2018 In response, environmental groups, hitherto quiescent environmental professionals, and more — all Americans who care about the health of our country and our planet — still need to find new ways and means of mobilizing against it, and fast. Christopher Sellers, Vox, "How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism," 6 July 2018 By 1985, in one of the crueler ironies of the century, gay men had learned that the liberation of the libido, the casting-off of eons-old shame, had exposed them to an implacable, hitherto unknown virus. Michael Cunningham, New York Times, "Surviving AIDS, but at What Cost?," 25 June 2018 Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time. Daniel Hicks, chicagotribune.com, "Captain fantastic Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the last," 19 June 2018 More recently still, microbiome science has attracted huge sums of venture capital to fund companies that treat hitherto intractable diseases or swell agricultural yields. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "The 19th-Century Crank Who Tried to Tell Us About the Microbiome," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hitherto.' 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 hitherto

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for hitherto

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

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More Definitions for hitherto



English Language Learners Definition of hitherto

: until now : before this time


hith·er·to | \ˈhi-t͟hər-ˌtü \

Kids Definition of hitherto

: up to this time I had hitherto lived alone.

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Comments on hitherto

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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