[ bih-fawr-hand, -fohr- ]
/ bɪˈfɔrˌhænd, -ˈfoʊr- /

adverb, adjective

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beforehand

British Dictionary definitions for beforehand


/ (bɪˈfɔːˌhænd) /

adjective, adverb (postpositive)

early; in advance; in anticipationshe 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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper