Webster 1913 Edition
In front of; preceding in space; ahead of;
as, to stand.
His angel, who shall go
Beforethem in a cloud and pillar of fire.
Preceding in time; earlier than; previously to; anterior to the time when; – sometimes with the additional idea of purpose; in order that.
BeforeAbraham was, I am.
John viii. 58.
Beforethis treatise can become of use, two points are necessary.
☞ Formerly before, in this sense, was followed by that. “Before that Philip called thee . . . I saw thee.”
John i. 48.
An advance of; farther onward, in place or time.
The golden age . . . is
Prior or preceding in dignity, order, rank, right, or worth; rather than.
He that cometh after me is preferred
John i. 15.
The eldest son is
beforethe younger in succession.
In presence or sight of; face to face with; facing.
Abraham bowed down himself
Gen. xxiii. 12.
Wherewith shall I come
Micah vi. 6.
Under the cognizance or jurisdiction of.
If a suit be begun
Open for; free of access to; in the power of.
The world was all
beforethem where to choose.
Before the mast
as a common sailor, – because the sailors live in the forecastle, forward of the foremast.–
Before the wind
in the direction of the wind and by its impulse; having the wind aft.
On the fore part; in front, or in the direction of the front; – opposed to
in the rear.
The battle was
2 Chron. xiii. 14.
In advance.“I come before to tell you.”
In time past; previously; already.
You tell me, mother, what I knew
Earlier; sooner than; until then.
When the butt is out, we will drink water; not a drop
☞ Before is often used in self-explaining compounds; as, before-cited, before-mentioned; beforesaid.
Webster 1828 Edition
BEFO'RE, prep. [be and fore, that is by fore, near the fore part.]
1.In front; on the side with the face, at any distance; used of persons.
2.In presence of, with the idea of power, authority, respect.
Abraham bowed before the people of the land. Gen.23.
Wherewithal shall I come before the Lord. Micah 6.
3.In sight of; as before the face.
4.In the presence of, noting cognizance of jurisdiction.
5.In the power of, noting the right or ability to choose or possess; free to the choice.
The world was all before them.
My land is before thee. Gen.20.
6. In front of any object; as before the house; before the fire.
7.Preceding in time.
Before I was afflicted, I went astray. Ps.119.
Before Abraham was, I am. John 8.
Here the preposition has a sentence following for an object.
8.In preference to.
And he set Ephraim before Manasseh. Gen.48.
Poverty is desirable before torments.
9.Superior; preceding in dignity.
He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for he was before me. John l.
10. Prior to; having prior right; preceding in order; as, the eldest son is before the younger in succession.
11. Previous to; in previous order; in order to.
Before this treatise can become of use, two points are necessary.
12.Before the wind, is to move in the direction of the wind by its impulse.
You tell me what I knew before.
1.In time preceding, to the present, or to this time; hitherto; as, tumults then arose which before were unknown.
2.Further onward in place, in progress, or in front.
Reaching forth to those things which are before. Phil.3.
3.In front; on the fore part.
The battle was before and behind. 2 Chron.13.
In some of the examples of the use of before, which Johnson places under the adverb, the word is a preposition governing a sentence; as, 'Before the hills appeared.' This is the real construction,however overlooked or misunderstood.