[uh-fawr, uh-fohr]

adverb, preposition, conjunction Older Use.

Origin of afore

before 900; late Middle English; Middle English aforne, aforen, Old English on foran. See a-1, fore1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for afore

Historical Examples of afore

  • An' I'm thinkin', Liz,' says I, 'he'll say things no man ever said afore—t' you.'

  • Never seed nothin' like that afore—no, lads, not in all my life.

  • I hadn't been in the Bible class five minutes afore I guessed how he was carryin' on.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • You see if I don't, an' afore another night goes over my head!

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • Now, yer r'yal 'ighness, wot can I do for you afore you goes ashore?

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for afore


adverb, preposition, conjunction

an archaic or dialect word for before
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

Word Origin and History for afore

Old English onforan "before, at the beginning of, in front of," from phrase on foran, from on (prep.) + foran (adv.) "in front," dative of for.

In some cases probably it represents Old English ætforan "at-fore." Once the literary equivalent of before, now it has mostly been replaced by that word except in nautical use and in combinations such as aforesaid and aforethought.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper