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See also: before-hand


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English biforhand, biforhond, beforehonde, bifornhand, equivalent to before +‎ hand. [13th century. After Old French avant main].



beforehand (not comparable)

  1. At an earlier or preceding time.
    Will it be possible to have access to the room beforehand so that we can set up chairs?
    I love playing tennis but I always get so nervous beforehand.
    Weeks beforehand, I had bought the tickets for the concert.





beforehand (comparative more beforehand, superlative most beforehand)

  1. (obsolete) In comfortable circumstances as regards property; forehanded.
  2. (archaic, often followed by with) In a state of anticipation or preoccupation.
    • 1670, John Milton, “(please specify the page)”, in The History of Britain, that Part Especially now Call’d England. [], London: [] J[ohn] M[acock] for James Allestry, [] , →OCLC:
      Agricola [] resolves to be beforehand with the danger.
    • 1716 April 17 (Gregorian calendar), Joseph Addison, “The Free-holder: No. 31. Friday, April 6. [1716.]”, in The Works of the Right Honourable Joseph Addison, Esq; [], volume IV, London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], published 1721, →OCLC:
      The last cited author has been beforehand with me.
    • 1839, London Medical Gazette: Or, Journal of Practical Medicine:
      [] the medical attendant ought to be rather beforehand with the symptoms of excitement, and to diminish the large quantity of wine before they appear.

Derived terms[edit]