[heer-tuh-fawr, -fohr]


before this time; until now.

Origin of heretofore

1300–50; Middle English heretoforn, equivalent to here here + toforn, Old English tōforan ( to + foran before; see fore1) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for heretofore

previously, formerly, before, since

Examples from the Web for heretofore

Contemporary Examples of heretofore

Historical Examples of heretofore

  • One of mine, as I have heretofore said, is to give an ugly likeness.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • It had armed her for all combats, as heretofore it had armed the martyrs.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • An authority, heretofore latent, flashed from his whole personality.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • But, heretofore, his promises had been of a strictly business nature.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • He had heretofore been my friend; henceforth he was my slave, yet, let me add, none the less my friend.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for heretofore



formal until now; before this time


obsolete previous; former


the heretofore archaic the past
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 heretofore

c.1200, from here + obsolete Old English toforan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper