Share this entry

beforehand Line breaks: be¦fore|hand
Pronunciation: /bɪˈfɔːhand/

Definition of beforehand in English:


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


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


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.

Words that rhyme with beforehand


Definition of beforehand in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
an example or model...