[ bih-fawr-hand, -fohr- ]
See synonyms for beforehand on
adverb, adjective
  1. in anticipation; in advance; ahead of time: We should have made reservations beforehand. I hope to be beforehand with my report.

Origin of beforehand

First recorded in 1175–1225, beforehand is from the Middle English word bifor-hand.See before, hand

Words Nearby beforehand Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use beforehand in a sentence

  • They had read the placards, they wished to see what the placards had announced, and to make their choice beforehand.

    Camille (La Dame aux Camilias) | Alexandre Dumas, fils
  • Once or twice she took a quiet dinner there alone, having instructed Celestine beforehand to prepare no dinner at home.

  • When they are ready they hasten in a crowd to the warehouse, where they have entered into a contract beforehand.

    Skipper Worse | Alexander Lange Kielland
  • On this occasion he was well beforehand with the work, and sent in the cantata to the committee by the 1st of April.

  • Unless the accounts are made up beforehand, parsons can't avail much at the twelfth hour.

    Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood

British Dictionary definitions for beforehand


/ (bɪˈfɔːˌhænd) /

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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012