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[uh-fawr, uh-fohr] /əˈfɔr, əˈfoʊr/
adverb, preposition, conjunction, Older Use.
Origin of afore
late Middle English
before 900; late Middle English; Middle English aforne, aforen, Old English on foran. See a-1, fore1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for afore
Historical Examples
  • This was afore he got married, Sim; his wife's tamed him a little.

    The Depot Master Joseph C. Lincoln
  • I teede hey, I tourne it afore it is made in cockes, je fene.

    The Romance of Names Ernest Weekley
  • Here's a bit of a treeho, lads, as I bought in Brummagem the day afore yesterday.

    Aunt Rachel David Christie Murray
  • There's another key that the mistress used to have afore she died, the creature.

    The Northern Iron George A. Birmingham
  • An' I'm thinkin', Liz,' says I, 'he'll say things no man ever said afore—t' you.'

  • The noise may bring Mr. Peet up here, and—and—I must get in afore he comes.

  • There was never the wale of him sinsyne, and it's a question wi' mony if there ever was his like afore.

    David Balfour, Second Part Robert Louis Stevenson
  • "We mought light the fires now, afore we finish planting Matt," said Kit.

    Field and Forest Oliver Optic
  • "Where his betters have been 'afore him," answered the Mummy.

    The Mysteries of London, v. 1/4 George W. M. Reynolds
  • I lost my pride, Tumm, as you knows, afore we moved down the Labrador.

    Harbor Tales Down North Norman Duncan
British Dictionary definitions for afore


adverb, preposition, conjunction
an archaic or dialect word for before
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
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Word Origin and History for afore

Old English onforan "before, at the beginning of, in front of," from phrase on foran, from on (prep.) + foran (adv.) "in front," dative of for.

In some cases probably it represents Old English ætforan "at-fore." Once the literary equivalent of before, now it has mostly been replaced by that word except in nautical use and in combinations such as aforesaid and aforethought.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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