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

  • adv. Southern & Midland U.S. Before.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Before.
  • adv. In the fore part of a ship.
  • prep. before

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Before.
  • adv. In the fore part of a vessel.
  • prep. Before (in all its senses).
  • prep. Before; in front of; farther forward than.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Before in place; in front: especially in nautical phraseology.
  • Before in time; previously.
  • Before in time.
  • Before in place; nautical, further forward or nearer the bows than: as, afore the windlass.
  • Before in position, station, or rank.
  • In or into the presence of; under the regard or notice of.
  • Before that; before; rather than.


Middle English, from Old English onforan : on, at; see on + foran, before (from fore; see fore).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English afore, aforn, from Old English onforan or ætforan. (a- +‎ fore) (Wiktionary)



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