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in anticipation; in advance; ahead of time:
We should have made reservations beforehand. I hope to be beforehand with my report.
Contemporary Examples

Someone had accidentally turned on the device hours beforehand, and by the time the meeting started, the batteries were dead.
Mohamed Mohamud Trial: Was He Tricked Into Terrorism? Winston Ross April 22, 2012

Cheap gas has also rendered government-preferred energy sources like solar even more uneconomic than they were beforehand.
David’s Bookclub: The New New Deal David Frum November 30, 2012

He had scouted out all the targets for Lashkar-e-Taiba in Mumbai in five visits to the city in the two years beforehand.
The Latest Al Qaeda Alarms Bruce Riedel October 2, 2010

And then, and only then—a few days beforehand—do they announce where and when the event is going to take place.
Obama Gets Lucky in South Carolina Primary Results Andrew Romano January 21, 2012

In the evening hours beforehand, Fountain had worked a normal shift in the bowels of the just-opened facility.
A Nuclear Meltdown Survivor Story Tony Doukopil March 16, 2011

Historical Examples

I had only asked permission to take twelve men with me whose names had to be sent in beforehand.
The Great War As I Saw It Frederick George Scott

The remoulade sauce will be much better if made some hours beforehand.
The Cook’s Decameron: A Study in Taste: Mrs. W. G. Waters

It had been arranged for weeks beforehand, and the whole family were delighted with the novelty of the proposition.
Harper’s Young People, July 6, 1880 Various

The beds chosen for them are those that have been planted with Tulips the autumn beforehand.
The Mayflower, January, 1905 Various

You should never let any one wait, Gladys, unless I have told you beforehand.
The Cathedral Sir Hugh Walpole

adjective, adverb (postpositive)
early; in advance; in anticipation: she came an hour beforehand
adv., adj.

also before-hand, early 13c., from before + hand, which here is of uncertain signification, unless the original notion is payment in advance or something done before another’s hand does it. Hyphenated from 18c., one word from 19c.


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  • Befoul

    to make dirty or filthy; soil; defile; sully: a bird that befouls its own nest. Contemporary Examples Adolf Hitler, despite being the most evil force ever to befoul mankind, was also a kind and conscientious employer. Secrets of Nazi Secretaries Andrew Roberts August 29, 2011 Historical Examples You see I have put gloves on, that […]

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    to make friends or become friendly with; act as a friend to; help; aid: to befriend the poor and the weak. verb (transitive) to be a friend to; assist; favour v. 1550s, from be- + friend (q.v.). Related: Befriended; befriending.

  • Befriend

    to make friends or become friendly with; act as a friend to; help; aid: to befriend the poor and the weak. Contemporary Examples But whatever their private feeling, politicians have been keen to befriend a critical power-broker. Knives Out Against Murdoch William Underhill July 6, 2011 You too must befriend the stranger, for you were […]

Disclaimer: Beforehand definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.