hith·​er·​to | \ ˈhi-t͟hər-ˌtü How to pronounce hitherto (audio) , 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

The problem is his relentless divisiveness, hitherto more damaging at home than abroad, is hurting his prospects. The Economist, "Donald Trump: foreign policy showman," 3 July 2019 German intelligence services argue there are particular risks from the hitherto unseen degree of interconnectedness between 5G and other areas of critical national infrastructure in Germany. Clifford Coonan, The Christian Science Monitor, "At stake in Huawei’s German bid, economic gain vs. national security," 6 June 2019 Such high-profile focused projects to create results of hitherto unimaginable complexity have taken place at least twice in American history. Quanta Magazine, "Are Genes Selfish or Cooperative?," 14 Sep. 2017 The great tradition of modern fiction—running from James Joyce and Virginia Woolf to Alice Munro and Karl Ove Knausgård—is for the writer to mine their own experience for narrative, finding hitherto unexpressed truths by hewing close to actuality. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Philip Roth, the Mandarin Joker," 23 May 2018 No matter which country wins the technological battle in the end, those companies that have hitherto benefited from more cordial relationship between the U.S. and China will be the biggest losers. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "The Trouble With Huawei Will Spread," 6 Dec. 2018 Kokoschka/Pro In Dresden, where Kokoschka settled after World War I, the artist’s palette brightens and his impasto technique, hitherto mostly confined to faces, hands and clothing, floods his canvases, often extending to their very corners. A.j. Goldmann, WSJ, "‘Oskar Kokoschka—Expressionist, Migrant, European. A Retrospective’ Review: Longevity as Blessing and Curse," 2 Jan. 2019 Japan, in contrast, stumbled into the second round by virtue of having received fewer yellow cards than Senegal in Group H, a hitherto unseen World Cup tiebreaker. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "World Cup 2018: Belgium Shocks Japan With Stunning Rally," 4 July 2018 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

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

7 Jul 2019

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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

formal : until now : before this time


hith·​er·​to | \ ˈhi-t͟hər-ˌtü How to pronounce hitherto (audio) \

Kids Definition of hitherto

: up to this time I had hitherto lived alone.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hitherto

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hitherto

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hitherto

Spanish Central: Translation of hitherto

Nglish: Translation of hitherto for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hitherto for Arabic Speakers

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characterized by aphorism

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