Definition of beforehand in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /bɪˈfɔːhand/


Before an action or event; in advance: rooms must be booked beforehand
More example sentences
  • I don't recall people being asked beforehand if these events were wanted in the first place.
  • But the seats had been booked up beforehand, and most of them weren't going to get in.
  • Sensing it might be busy, I took the precaution of ringing beforehand to book a table.
in advance, in readiness, ahead of time;
before, before now, earlier, earlier on, previously, already, sooner


be beforehand with

archaic Anticipate or forestall: he discovered Ash had been beforehand with him
More example sentences
  • Wherefore the monarchy and hierarchy will be beforehand with it, if they see their true interest.
  • I cut up along behind the hedge to be beforehand with you.
  • The insurgents entered the City by Lud Gate; but the Government had been beforehand with them.


Middle English (originally as two words): from before + hand; probably influenced by Old French avant main.

Words that rhyme with beforehand


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: be¦fore|hand

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.