• synonyms


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

First recorded in 1175–1225, beforehand is from the Middle English word bifor-hand. See before, hand
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for beforehand


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

adv., adj.

also before-hand, early 13c., from before + hand, which here is of uncertain signification, unless the original notion is payment in advance or something done before another's hand does it. Hyphenated from 18c., one word from 19c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper