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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Afore \A*fore"\, adv. [OE. afore, aforn, AS. onforan or

  1. Before. [Obs.]

    If he have never drunk wine afore.

  2. (Naut.) In the fore part of a vessel.


Afore \A*fore"\, prep.

  1. Before (in all its senses). [Archaic]

  2. (Naut.) Before; in front of; farther forward than; as, afore the windlass.

    Afore the mast, among the common sailors; -- a phrase used to distinguish the ship's crew from the officers.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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.\n

\nIn some cases probably it represents Old English ætforan "at-fore." Once the literary equivalent of before, it now has been replaced by that word except in nautical use and in combinations such as aforesaid, aforethought.


adv. (context dialect English) before. conj. in advance of the time when; before prep. before

Usage examples of "afore".

Do ye think fowk wash their flags afore they hing them oot, like sarks or sheets?

Mr Constable, what the loons did to Robert Bruce the nicht afore last?

Janet, gang na to see: Ye left a chair afore the fire, Whaur I tauld ye nae chair sud be.

I kent her father afore her day, and I hae kent her sin ever she had a day.

With that Bill lays his arm on him to raise him up, for he said he was squeezed as flat as a pancake, and afore Nabb knew where he was, Bill rolled him right over and was atop of him.

There was a sight of folks there, gentlemen and ladies in the public room--I never seed so many afore except at commencement day--all ready for a start, and when the gong sounded, off we sot like a flock of sheep.

Well, I gets near the Major at table, and afore me stood a china utensil with two handles, full of soup, about the size of a foot-tub, with a large silver scoop in it, near about as big as a ladle of a maple sugar kettle.

Our great Washington found that out, and the British officer that beat Bonaparte, the bread they gave him turned sour afore he got half through the loaf.

His soap had hardly stiffened afore it ran right back to lye and grease agin.

He found his suit ready made and fitted afore he thought he was half measured.

Yankees, but I guess they have a wrinkle or two to grow afore they progress ahead on us yet.

In this way Bluenose gets led on to offer himself as a lovier, afore he knows where he bees.

It was some time afore I was able to swiggle my way through the crowd, and get into the house.

A man can hardly live there till next grass afore he is in the yaller leaf.

Well, away so you can get yourself back afore dark, that is unless you want to take a lantern.