before
I. adverb or adjective Etymology: Middle English, adverb & preposition, from Old English beforan, from be- + foran before, from fore Date: before 12th century 1. in advance ; ahead <
marching on before
>
2. at an earlier time ; previously <
the night before
>
<
knew her from before
>
II. preposition Date: before 12th century 1. a. (1) forward of ; in front of <
stood before the fire
>
(2) in the presence of <
speaking before the conference
>
b. under the jurisdiction or consideration of <
the case before the court
>
c. (1) at the disposal of <
the great sums placed before him
>
(2) in store for <
got the whole summer before you
>
2. preceding in time ; earlier than <
just before noon
>
3. in a higher or more important position than <
put quantity before quality
>
III. conjunction Date: 13th century 1. a. (1) earlier than the time that <
call me before you go
>
(2) sooner or quicker than <
I'll be done before you know it
>
(3) so that…do not <
get out of there before you get dirty
>
b. until the time that <
miles to go before I sleep — Robert Frost
>
c. (1) or else…not <
must be convicted before he can be removed from office
>
(2) or else <
get out of here before I call a cop
>
2. rather or sooner than <
would starve before he'd steal
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Before — Be*fore , prep. [OE. beforen, biforen, before, AS. beforan; pref. be + foran, fore, before. See {Be }, and {Fore}.] 1. In front of; preceding in space; ahead of; as, to stand before the fire; before the house. [1913 Webster] His angel, who shall… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Before — «Before» Сингл Pet Shop Boys из альбома Bilingual Выпущен 22 апреля, 1996 года Формат CD Записан 1995 Жанр Электро …   Википедия

  • before — [bē fôr′, bifôr′] adv. [ME biforen < OE beforan < be , BY + foran,FORE] 1. in advance; in front; ahead 2. in the past; previously [I ve heard that song before] 3. at an earlier time; sooner [come at ten, not before] prep …   English World dictionary

  • before — before, ahead, forward are comparable when they mean in advance, especially in place or in time. Before is more commonly used in reference to time than to place. Its most frequent implication is previousness or priority {I have heard that before} …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Before — Be*fore , adv. 1. On the fore part; in front, or in the direction of the front; opposed to {in the rear}. [1913 Webster] The battle was before and behind. 2 Chron. xiii. 14. [1913 Webster] 2. In advance. I come before to tell you. Shak. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • before — be·fore prep 1: in the presence of then personally appeared before me 2: to be judged or acted on by a case before the court a bill coming up before Congress Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 19 …   Law dictionary

  • before — O.E. beforan before, in front of, in the presence of, in former times, from P.Gmc. *bi by + *forana from the front, adverbial derivative of *fora (see FOR (Cf. for)). Cf. O.Fris. bifara, O.S. biforan, O.H.G. bifora, Ger. bevor. Contrasting …   Etymology dictionary

  • before — [adv] earlier afore, aforetime, ahead, ante, antecedently, anteriorly, back, before present, ere, fore, former, formerly, forward, gone, gone by, heretofore, in advance, in days of yore, in front, in old days, in the past, past, precendently,… …   New thesaurus

  • before — ► PREPOSITION , CONJUNCTION , & ADVERB 1) during the period of time preceding. 2) in front of. 3) in preference to; rather than. ORIGIN Old English, from BY(Cf. ↑by) + FORE(Cf. ↑fore) …   English terms dictionary

  • before — be|fore1 W1S1 [bıˈfo: US ˈfo:r] conj 1.) earlier than a particular event or action ≠ ↑after ▪ Say goodbye before you go. ▪ I saw her a few days before she died. see usage note ↑ago 2.) so that something does not or cannot happen ▪ Put that money… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • before — [[t]bɪfɔ͟ː(r)[/t]] ♦ (In addition to the uses shown below, before is used in the phrasal verbs go before and lay before .) 1) PREP If something happens before a particular date, time, or event, it happens earlier than that date, time, or event.… …   English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”