[th air-tuh-fawr, -fohr]


before or until that time.

Origin of theretofore

First recorded in 1300–50, theretofore is from the Middle English word ther tofore. See there, heretofore Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for theretofore

Contemporary Examples of theretofore

  • It's why a number of commentators who had theretofore said Benghazi was nothing was now something.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Will ABC Finger the Liar?

    Michael Tomasky

    May 17, 2013

Historical Examples of theretofore

  • Life's naked brutalities had theretofore been largely out of his ken.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Immediately, as if nothing but her eye had prevented it theretofore, the search was instituted.


    Louis Joseph Vance

  • For Cleopatra, theretofore, had held her own against the best.

    Too Old for Dolls

    Anthony Mario Ludovici

  • No, not quite that expression as it always had been theretofore, but a modified form of it.

    The Grain Of Dust

    David Graham Phillips

  • Theretofore, the Christians had been silent from discipline, now they were silent from wonder.

    The Fair God

    Lew Wallace

British Dictionary definitions for theretofore



formal before that time; previous to that
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