- before long,
- before the present,
- before the wind,
- before you can say jack robinson,
- before you know it
Origin of before
Examples from the Web for before
Before anti-vaxxers, there were anti-fluoriders: a group who spread fear about the anti-tooth decay agent added to drinking water.
In secret, before the referendum, the council went ahead and fluoridated the water anyway.
Was there an investigation of people at DOJ before they arrived at that conclusion?Ex-CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s Battle Royale With the Feds|Lloyd Grove|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
This Congress will welcome more women than ever before at 19 percent of the House and 20 percent of the Senate.
And then I met him before I started doing the impression of him when he was a guest on SNL for a moment.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness|Marlow Stern|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The latter would sometimes exclaim, before the agents and the heirs were fairly out of hearing, "I can't understand the thing!"Ursula|Honore de Balzac
I flourished it before him, and pointed with one hand to the broken desk, which he had not yet observed in his craven agitation.
If things take the better turn, our condition will be surer and firmer than it was before.History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XV. (of XXI.)|Thomas Carlyle
It might have been before—I don't know whether she got married here, or she met him in Texas.Warren Commission (8 of 26): Hearings Vol. VIII (of 15)|The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
Mr. Langer nodded more decisively than before and plucked a second blade of grass.The Boy Scouts of Lakeville High|Leslie W. Quirk
Word Origin for before
Old English beforan "before, in front of, in the presence of, in former times," from Proto-Germanic *bi- "by" + *forana "from the front," adverbial derivative of *fora (see for). Cf. Old Frisian bifara, Old Saxon biforan, Old High German bifora, German bevor. Contrasting before and after in illustrations is from Hogarth (1768). Before the mast in old sailing ships denoting "common sailor," is from the place of their berths, in front of the fore-mast.
In addition to the idioms beginning with before
- before long
- before the wind
- before you can say Jack Robinson
- before you know it
- cart before the horse
- cast pearls before swine
- look before you leap