be|fore1 W1S1 [bıˈfo: US -ˈfo:r] conj
1.) earlier than a particular event or action
≠ ↑after
Say goodbye before you go.
I saw her a few days before she died.
see usage noteago
2.) so that something does not or cannot happen
Put that money somewhere safe before it gets stolen.
That dog ought to be destroyed before it attacks any more children.
Before I could say anything more, Holmes had rushed off towards the station.
3.) used to say that something happens after a period of time
It was several minutes before we realised what was happening.
It will be a while before we know the results.
4.) used to say that something must happen in order for something else to be possible
You have to pass a test before you can get a licence.
5.) spoken used to warn someone that something bad will happen to them if they do not do something
Get out before I call the police!
6.) used to emphasize that someone does not want to do something
She would die before she would admit she was wrong.
before 2
before2 W1S1 prep
[: Old English; Origin: beforan, from foran 'before', from fore; FORE-]
1.) earlier than something or someone
≠ ↑after
The new road should be completed before the end of the year.
Let's meet at our house before the show.
Larry arrived home before me.
five minutes/two hours etc before sth
Hugh arrived just five minutes before the ceremony.
before doing sth
I usually take a shower before having my breakfast.
We only got back from Scotland the day before yesterday (=two days ago) .
Other students joined in the protest, and before long (=soon) there was a crowd of 200 or so.
see usage noteago
2.) ahead of someone or something else in a list or order
≠ ↑after
I think you were before me in the queue.
The files are arranged in alphabetical order, so B1 comes before C1.
3.) used to say that something happens where it can be watched by people
Italy will face Brazil this afternoon before a crowd of 100,000 spectators.
an actor who had performed before the Queen
4.) used to say that someone or something comes to be judged or considered by a person or group of people
The proposal was put before the planning committee.
The men are due to appear before the court tomorrow.
5.) used to say that one thing or person is considered more important than another
I put my wife and kids before anyone else.
In the air transport business, safety must always come before profit.
6.) formal in front of something or someone
The priest stood before the altar.
The sea stretched out before them.
7.) if one place is before another place on a road or journey, the first place is nearer to you than the second, so you will reach it first
≠ ↑after
The pub is 100m before the church on the right.
the last station before the Simplon Tunnel
8.) formal if there is a job or situation before you, you will have to do the job or face the situation
The task of emptying the house lay before us.
9.) formal if a period of time is before you, it is about to start and you can do what you want during it
We had a glorious summer afternoon before us to do as we pleased.
You have your whole life before you.
before 3
before3 W2S1 adv
1.) at an earlier time
Haven't I met you before somewhere?
Never before had he seen so many people starving.
She looked just the same as before.
2.) the day/week/month etc before
the previous day, week, month etc
She was in Paris last week and in Rome the week before.
3.) old use ahead of someone or something else
The king's herald walked before.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Before — Be*fore , prep. [OE. beforen, biforen, before, AS. beforan; pref. be + foran, fore, before. See {Be }, and {Fore}.] 1. In front of; preceding in space; ahead of; as, to stand before the fire; before the house. [1913 Webster] His angel, who shall… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Before — «Before» Сингл Pet Shop Boys из альбома Bilingual Выпущен 22 апреля, 1996 года Формат CD Записан 1995 Жанр Электро …   Википедия

  • before — [bē fôr′, bifôr′] adv. [ME biforen < OE beforan < be , BY + foran,FORE] 1. in advance; in front; ahead 2. in the past; previously [I ve heard that song before] 3. at an earlier time; sooner [come at ten, not before] prep …   English World dictionary

  • before — before, ahead, forward are comparable when they mean in advance, especially in place or in time. Before is more commonly used in reference to time than to place. Its most frequent implication is previousness or priority {I have heard that before} …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Before — Be*fore , adv. 1. On the fore part; in front, or in the direction of the front; opposed to {in the rear}. [1913 Webster] The battle was before and behind. 2 Chron. xiii. 14. [1913 Webster] 2. In advance. I come before to tell you. Shak. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • before — be·fore prep 1: in the presence of then personally appeared before me 2: to be judged or acted on by a case before the court a bill coming up before Congress Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 19 …   Law dictionary

  • Before Me — Studioalbum von Gladys Knight Veröffentlichung 2006 Label Verve …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • before — O.E. beforan before, in front of, in the presence of, in former times, from P.Gmc. *bi by + *forana from the front, adverbial derivative of *fora (see FOR (Cf. for)). Cf. O.Fris. bifara, O.S. biforan, O.H.G. bifora, Ger. bevor. Contrasting …   Etymology dictionary

  • before — [adv] earlier afore, aforetime, ahead, ante, antecedently, anteriorly, back, before present, ere, fore, former, formerly, forward, gone, gone by, heretofore, in advance, in days of yore, in front, in old days, in the past, past, precendently,… …   New thesaurus

  • before — ► PREPOSITION , CONJUNCTION , & ADVERB 1) during the period of time preceding. 2) in front of. 3) in preference to; rather than. ORIGIN Old English, from BY(Cf. ↑by) + FORE(Cf. ↑fore) …   English terms dictionary

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