Pronunciation: (bi-fôr', -fōr'), [key]
1. previous to; earlier or sooner than: Phone me before noon.
2. in front of; ahead of; in advance of: his shadow advancing before him; She stood before the window.
3. ahead of; in the future of; awaiting: The golden age is before us.
4. in preference to; rather than: They would die before surrendering.
5. in precedence of, as in order or rank: We put freedom before wealth.
6. in the presence or sight of: to appear before an audience.
7. less than; until: used in indicating the exact time: It's ten before three.
8. under the jurisdiction or consideration of: He was summoned before a magistrate.
9. confronted by; in the face of: Before such wild accusations, he was too stunned to reply.
10. in the regard of: a crime before God and humanity.
11. under the overwhelming influence of: bending before the storm.
12. without figuring or deducting: income before deductions.

1. in front; in advance; ahead: The king entered with macebearers walking before.
2. in time preceding; previously: If we'd known before, we'd have let you know.
3. earlier or sooner: Begin at noon, not before.

1. previous to the time when: Send the telegram before we go.
2. sooner than; rather than: I will die before I submit.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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