Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Up to the present time; before this; previously.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Prior to now, until now, up to the present time; from the origin to this point.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Up to this time; hitherto; before; in time past.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Before this time; formerly; up to this time.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. used in negative statement to describe a situation that has existed up to this point or up to the present time

Etymologies

Middle English : here, here; see here + tofore, previously (from Old English tōforan : , to; see to + foran, before from fore; see fore).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English heretoforn, equivalent to here ("here") + toforn ("before"), from Old English toforan ("before"). More at here, tofore. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Severin's 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer is exquisite, adding considerable lustre to a title heretofore known in this country only through dupey, unsubtitled, bootleg tapes.

    Archive 2006-10-01

  • "The traversers" [4] were in everybody's mouth -- a term heretofore confined to law courts, and lawyers 'rooms.

    The Kellys and the O'Kellys

  • She seems nice enough and she's attractive, but her claim to fame heretofore is her role as Lil 'Wayne's baby mama.

    Small wonder

  • The announcement this week that Owen Wilson is about to become a first-time dad by girlfriend Jade Duell -- a name heretofore unknown to the celebrity-media industrial complex -- set off a flurry of fruitless Googling across the country.

    Owen Wilson's babymama Jade Duell is a Beltway girl with an intriguing federal government past

  • The watchword heretofore on the "Yankee," as on every one of Uncle Sam's ships, had been "Remember the Maine."

    A Gunner Aboard the "Yankee"

  • Summer Students of occupying the Dormitories of the University be hereafter limited to the Dormitories, A.B. C. & D. of Dawson's Row and the Dormitories on Carr's Hill, from the 15th of July to the 15th of September, upon the terms heretofore prescribed for the Dormitories generally.

    Board of Visitors minutes

  • Resolved that Professors Davis & Cabell be authorized to continue the employment of Mr Scharf, as artist upon the terms heretofore allowed until the further order of the Board.

    Board of Visitors minutes

  • Observe, The goodness of God in converting and saving sinners heretofore is a proper encouragement to others in after-time to hope in his grace and mercy, and to apply themselves to these.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume VI (Acts to Revelation)

  • Such public giants as Beck and Limbaugh can drop a word heretofore unknown to the unwashed and pretty quick everybody is sagely repeating same ( "Ah yes, Obama shows definite signs of Narcissist Personality Disorder").

    AlterNet.org Main RSS Feed

  • “The traversers” were in everybody’s mouth a term heretofore confined to law courts, and lawyers’ rooms.

    The Kellys and the O'Kellys

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