there·​to·​fore ˈt͟her-tə-ˌfȯr How to pronounce theretofore (audio)
: up to that time
a theretofore unknown author

Examples of theretofore in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The reaction to the release of All Quiet on the Western Front in Germany marked an early Hollywood encounter with the pathological race hatred of a theretofore unknown political party. Thomas Doherty, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Sep. 2022 While deal volume in July and August still trends slower, recent years have enjoyed more robust markets during this period than theretofore. Frederick Peters, Forbes, 5 July 2022 There weren’t many bright colors, but some theretofore unnoticed textural quirks—on clothes, on faces—went wild with deep, scrutinizing, photographic detail. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 20 Dec. 2021 My confidence had reached a height theretofore unseen. Shannon Driskill, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'theretofore.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of theretofore was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near theretofore

Cite this Entry

“Theretofore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


there·​to·​fore ˈt͟hart-ə-ˌfō(ə)r How to pronounce theretofore (audio)
: up to that time
noticed the theretofore undetected mistake
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