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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
  • You see if I don't, an' afore another night goes over my head!

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • Here's a bit of a treeho, lads, as I bought in Brummagem the day afore yesterday.

    Aunt Rachel David Christie Murray
  • Not he—he's no conjuror: many's the dozen tricks I played him afore now.

  • An' I'm thinkin', Liz,' says I, 'he'll say things no man ever said afore—t' you.'

  • The very day afore he died, he cut that with his pocket-knife from memory!

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • 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
  • If—if we row like this afore we're married what'll it be afterwards?

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • "Where his betters have been 'afore him," answered the Mummy.

    The Mysteries of London, v. 1/4 George W. M. Reynolds
  • I got him to ask me—he'd as much as asked me afore—and then I made him sign that paper.

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
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 Once the literary equivalent of before, now it has mostly been replaced by that word except in nautical use and in combinations such as aforesaid and aforethought.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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