Before

Definition of Before

Be`fore´
prep.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.
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.
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.
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.

Related Words

above, aforetime, ahead, ahead of time, already, ante, before all, before now, beforehand, beforetime, betimes, by choice, by election, by vote, confronting, early, ere, ere then, erenow, erewhile, erst, erstwhile, facing, first, fore, foremost, foresightedly, formerly, forward, headmost, hereinabove, hereinbefore, heretofore, historically, hitherto, 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
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