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 go Before them in a cloud and pillar of fire. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. Preceding in time; earlier than; previously to; anterior to the time when; -- sometimes with the additional idea of purpose; in order that. [1913 Webster]

Before Abraham was, I am. --John viii. 58. [1913 Webster]

Before this treatise can become of use, two points are necessary. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

Note: Formerly before, in this sense, was followed by that. ``Before that Philip called thee . . . I saw thee.'' --John i. 48. [1913 Webster]

3. An advance of; farther onward, in place or time. [1913 Webster]

The golden age . . . is before us. --Carlyle. [1913 Webster]

4. Prior or preceding in dignity, order, rank, right, or worth; rather than. [1913 Webster]

He that cometh after me is preferred before me. --John i. 15. [1913 Webster]

The eldest son is before the younger in succession. --Johnson. [1913 Webster]

5. In presence or sight of; face to face with; facing. [1913 Webster]

Abraham bowed down himself before the people. --Gen. xxiii. 12. [1913 Webster]

Wherewith shall I come before the Lord? --Micah vi. 6. [1913 Webster]

6. Under the cognizance or jurisdiction of. [1913 Webster]

If a suit be begun before an archdeacon. --Ayliffe. [1913 Webster]

7. Open for; free of access to; in the power of. [1913 Webster]

The world was all before them where to choose. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • 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

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  • 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 Me — Studioalbum von Gladys Knight Veröffentlichung 2006 Label Verve …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • 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

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