wordswarm.net: free dictionary lookup
Wordswarms From Years Past

13-Letter Words
12-Letter Words
11-Letter Words
10-Letter Words
9-Letter Words
8-Letter Words
7-Letter Words
6-Letter Words
5-Letter Words
4-Letter Words
3-Letter Words

Adjacent Words

before Christ
before long
Before the beam
Before the footlights
before the mast
before the wind

Before definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BEFO'RE, prep. [be and fore, that is by fore, near the fore part.]
1. In front; on the side with the face, at any distance; used of persons.
2. In presence of, with the idea of power, authority, respect.
Abraham bowed before the people of the land. Genesis 23.
Wherewithal shall I come before the Lord. Micah 6.
3. In sight of; as before the face.
4. In the presence of, noting cognizance of jurisdiction.
5. In the power of, noting the right or ability to choose or possess; free to the choice.
The world was all before them.
My land is before thee. Genesis 20.
6. In front of any object; as before the house; before the fire.
7. Preceding in time.
Before I was afflicted, I went astray. Psalms 119.
Before Abraham was, I am. John 8.
Here the preposition has a sentence following for an object.
8. In preference to.
And he set Ephraim before Manasseh. Genesis 48.
Poverty is desirable before torments.
9. Superior; preceding in dignity.
He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for he was before me. John l.
10. Prior to; having prior right; preceding in order; as, the eldest son is before the younger in succession.
11. Previous to; in previous order; in order to.
Before this treatise can become of use, two points are necessary.
12. Before the wind, is to move in the direction of the wind by its impulse.
BEFO'RE, adv. In time preceding.
You tell me what I knew before.
1. In time preceding, to the present, or to this time; hitherto; as, tumults then arose which before were unknown.
2. Further onward in place, in progress, or in front.
Reaching forth to those things which are before. Philippians 3.
3. In front; on the fore part.
The battle was before and behind. 2 Chronicles 13.
In some of the examples of the use of before, which Johnson places under the adverb, the word is a preposition governing a sentence; as, "Before the hills appeared." This is the real construction,however overlooked or misunderstood.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: earlier in time; previously; "I had known her before"; "as I said before"; "he called me the day before but your call had come even earlier"; "her parents had died four years earlier"; "I mentioned that problem earlier" [syn: earlier, before]
2: at or in the front; "I see the lights of a town ahead"; "the road ahead is foggy"; "staring straight ahead"; "we couldn't see over the heads of the people in front"; "with the cross of Jesus marching on before" [syn: ahead, in front, before]

Merriam Webster's

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>

Oxford Reference Dictionary

conj., prep., & adv. --conj. 1 earlier than the time when (crawled before he walked). 2 rather than that (would starve before he stole). --prep. 1 a in front of (before her in the queue). b ahead of (crossed the line before him). c under the impulse of (recoil before the attack). d awaiting (the future before them). 2 earlier than; preceding (Lent comes before Easter). 3 rather than (death before dishonour). 4 a in the presence of (appear before the judge). b for the attention of (a plan put before the committee). --adv. 1 a earlier than the time in question; already (heard it before). b in the past (happened long before). 2 ahead (go before). 3 on the front (hit before and behind). Phrases and idioms: Before Christ (of a date) reckoned backwards from the birth of Christ. before God a solemn oath meaning 'as God sees me'. before time see TIME. Etymology: OE beforan f. Gmc

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

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. His angel, who shall go Before them in a cloud and pillar of fire. --Milton. 2. Preceding in time; earlier than; previously to; anterior to the time when; -- sometimes with the additional idea of purpose; in order that. Before Abraham was, I am. --John viii. 58. Before this treatise can become of use, two points are necessary. --Swift. Note: Formerly before, in this sense, was followed by that. ``Before that Philip called thee . . . I saw thee.'' --John i. 48. 3. An advance of; farther onward, in place or time. The golden age . . . is before us. --Carlyle. 4. Prior or preceding in dignity, order, rank, right, or worth; rather than. He that cometh after me is preferred before me. --John i. 15. The eldest son is before the younger in succession. --Johnson. 5. In presence or sight of; face to face with; facing. Abraham bowed down himself before the people. --Gen. xxiii. 12. Wherewith shall I come before the Lord? --Micah vi. 6. 6. Under the cognizance or jurisdiction of. If a suit be begun before an archdeacon. --Ayliffe. 7. Open for; free of access to; in the power of. The world was all before them where to choose. --Milton. Before the mast (Naut.), as a common sailor, -- because the sailors live in the forecastle, forward of the foremast. Before the wind (Naut.), in the direction of the wind and by its impulse; having the wind aft.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Before Be*fore", adv. 1. On the fore part; in front, or in the direction of the front; -- opposed to in the rear. The battle was before and behind. --2 Chron. xiii. 14. 2. In advance. ``I come before to tell you.'' --Shak. 3. In time past; previously; already. You tell me, mother, what I knew before. --Dryden. 4. Earlier; sooner than; until then. When the butt is out, we will drink water; not a drop before. --Shak. Note: Before is often used in self-explaining compounds; as, before-cited, before-mentioned; beforesaid.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English. Note: In addition to the uses shown below, 'before' is used in the phrasal verbs 'go before' and 'lay before'. 1. If something happens before a particular date, time, or event, it happens earlier than that date, time, or event. Annie was born a few weeks before Christmas... Before World War II, women were not recruited as intelligence officers... My husband rarely comes to bed before 2 or 3am. ? after PREPBefore is also a conjunction. Stock prices climbed close to the peak they'd registered before the stock market crashed. CONJ 2. If you do one thing before doing something else, you do it earlier than the other thing. He spent his early life in Sri Lanka before moving to England... Before leaving, he went into his office to fill in the daily time sheet. ? after PREP: PREP -ingBefore is also a conjunction. He took a cold shower and then towelled off before he put on fresh clothes. CONJ 3. You use before when you are talking about time. For example, if something happened the day before a particular date or event, it happened during the previous day. The war had ended only a month or so before. ADV: n ADVBefore is also a preposition. It's interesting that he sent me the book twenty days before the deadline for my book. PREP: n PREP nBefore is also a conjunction. Kelman had a book published in the US more than a decade before a British publisher would touch him. CONJ 4. If you do something before someone else can do something, you do it when they have not yet done it. Before Gallacher could catch up with the ball, Nadlovu had beaten him to it. CONJ 5. If someone has done something before, they have done it on a previous occasion. If someone has not done something before, they have never done it. I had met Professor Lown before... She had never been to Italy before. ADV: ADV after v 6. If there is a period of time or if several things are done before something happens, it takes that amount of time or effort for this thing to happen. It was some time before the door opened in response to his ring. = until CONJ 7. If a particular situation has to happen before something else happens, this situation must happen or exist in order for the other thing to happen. There was additional work to be done before all the troops would be ready. CONJ 8. If someone is before something, they are in front of it. (FORMAL) They drove through a tall iron gate and stopped before a large white villa. PREP 9. If you tell someone that one place is a certain distance before another, you mean that they will come to the first place first. The turn is about two kilometres before the roundabout. PREP 10. If you appear or come before an official person or group, you go there and answer questions. The Governor will appear before the committee next Tuesday. PREP 11. If something happens before a particular person or group, it is seen by or happens while this person or this group is present. The game followed a colourful opening ceremony before a crowd of seventy-four thousand. PREP 12. If you have something such as a journey, a task, or a stage of your life before you, you must do it or live through it in the future. Everyone in the room knew it was the single hardest task before them... = ahead of PREP: PREP pron 13. When you want to say that one person or thing is more important than another, you can say that they come before the other person or thing. Her husband, her children, and the Church came before her needs. PREP: v PREP n 14. before long: see long

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

be-for': The translation of a great variety of Hebrew and Greek words. "Haran died before (the English Revised Version "in the presence of," literally "before the face of") his father Terah" (Ge 11:28). To be "before" God is to enjoy His favor (Ps 31:22). "The Syrians before" (Isa 9:12 the Revised Version, margin "on the east," as "behind," owing to the position of Canaan, relative to Syria, implies the west).

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. prep. 1. Preceding, in advance of, ahead of, in front of, in the van of. 2. Prior to, previous to. 3. In the presence of, face to face with, in the sight of. 4. Near the front of, in front of. 5. Under the jurisdiction, judgment, control, or notice of. II. ad. 1. Toward the front. 2. In advance, farther onward, ahead. 3. Formerly, in time past, of old, already, previously. 4. Hitherto, up to that time. 5. Above, in a former part, in a previous place or passage.

Moby Thesaurus

above, aforetime, ahead, ahead of time, already, ante, before all, before now, beforehand, beforetime, betimes, by choice, by election, by vote, confronting, earlier, early, ere, ere then, erenow, erewhile, erst, erstwhile, facing, first, fore, foremost, foresightedly, formerly, forward, headmost, hereinabove, hereinbefore, heretofore, historically, hitherto, in advance, in advance of, in anticipation, in anticipation of, in front, in front of, in preference, in preference to, in preparation for, in the forefront, in the foreground, in the front, in the future, in the lead, in the past, in times past, once, only yesterday, or ever, preceding, precociously, preferably, prehistorically, previous, previous to, previously, prior to, priorly, rather, rather than, recently, sooner, sooner than, supra, then, theretofore, till, to, to come, to the fore, to the front, until, up ahead, up to, whilom, yesterday, yet


wordswarm.net: free dictionary lookup