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be·fore / biˈfôr/ • prep. , conj. , & adv. 1. during the period of time preceding (a particular event, date, or time): [as prep.] she had to rest before dinner the day before yesterday [as conj.] they lived rough for four days before they were arrested 2. in front of: [as prep.] Matilda stood before her, panting the patterns swam before her eyes ∎  [prep.] in front of and required to answer to (a court of law, tribunal, or other authority): he could be taken before a magistrate for punishment. 3. in preference to; with a higher priority than: [as prep.] a woman who placed duty before all else [as conj.] they would die before they would cooperate with each other.

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before OE. beforan = OS. biforan, OHG. bifora (G. bevor), f. BE- + Gmc. *forana from the front (f. fora FOR).
Hence beforehand XIII.

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