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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ere \Ere\, v. t. To plow. [Obs.] See Ear, v. t.


Ere \Ere\ ([=a]r or [^a]r; 277), prep. & adv. [AS. [=ae]r, prep., adv., & conj.; akin to OS., OFries., & OHG. [=e]r, G. eher, D. eer, Icel. [=a]r, Goth. air. [root]204. Cf. Early, Erst, Or, adv.]

  1. Before; sooner than. [Archaic or Poetic]

    Myself was stirring ere the break of day.

    Ere sails were spread new oceans to explore.

    Sir, come down ere my child die.
    --John iv. 49.

  2. Rather than.

    I will be thrown into Etna, . . . ere I will leave her.

    Ere long, before, shortly.

    Ere now, formerly, heretofore.

    Ere that, & Or are. Same as Ere.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1200, from Old English ær (adv., conj., & prep.) "soon, before (in time)," from Proto-Germanic *airiz, comparative of *air "early" (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German er, Dutch eer; German eher "earlier;" Old Norse ar "early;" Gothic air "early," airis "earlier"), from PIE *ayer- "day, morning" (cognates: Avestan ayar "day;" Greek eerios "at daybreak," ariston "breakfast"). The adverb erstwhile retains the Old English superlative ærest "earliest."


Etymology 1 adv. (context obsolete English) At an earlier time. (10th-17th c.) alt. (context obsolete English) At an earlier time. (10th-17th c.) prep. (context poetic archaic English) before; sooner than. Etymology 2

n. (obsolete form of ear English)


Ere is a village in the Belgian province Hainaut, and a sub-municipality of the Walloon city Tournai

Category:Tournai Category:Populated places in Hainaut (province)

Usage examples of "ere".

I may abide here beyond the two days if the adventure befall me not ere then.

Now he thought that he would abide their coming and see if he might join their company, since if he crossed the water he would be on the backward way: and it was but a little while ere the head of them came up over the hill, and were presently going past Ralph, who rose up to look on them, and be seen of them, but they took little heed of him.

I have not found the damsel ere ye turn back, I must needs abide in this land searching for her.

So shall we go forth ere it be known that the brother of the Lord of the Porte is abiding at the Lamb.

I am quite transported at the thought that ere long, perhaps very soon, I shall bid an eternal adieu to all the pains and uneasinesses, and disquietudes of this weary life.

Then I knew them for the foemen and their deeds to be I knew, And I gathered the reins together to ride down the hill amain, To die with a good stroke stricken and slay ere I was slain.

Lady Blandish, pressing an almondy finger-nail to one of the Aphorisms, which instanced how age and adversity must clay-enclose us ere we can effectually resist the magnetism of any human creature in our path.

I did but wish to show that the long-bow could do that which an arbalest could not do, for you could not with your moulinet have your string ready to speed another shaft ere the bird drop to the earth.

Hrothgar, bade his men await his return for two whole days and nights ere they definitely gave him up for lost.

Malagigi, hearing him bewail his loss, bade him be of good cheer, promising to restore Bayard ere long, although he would be obliged to go to Mount Vulcanus, the mouth of hell, to get him.

I pray thee, ere thou convince gay attire of inward folly, lest beholding thee we misdoubt thy precept--or thy wisdom.

I be a younger son, younger grandson, and ere younger great-grandson and precious little noble blude flows in me.

Suffice it to say that, ere long, Bozo detected the faint but unmistakable spoor of a good-sized jinko and hunted it down, finally cornering the unhappy vegetable in a cul-de-sac formed by low, rocky hills.

Scotland ere the bulk of English arms caught up to them was bruited about, there was a roar of general acclamation for the newmade sovereign.

The initiatory contest between Lydon and Tetraides being less deadly than that between the other combatants, no sooner had they advanced to the middle of the arena than, as by common consent, the rest held back, to see how that contest should be decided, and wait till fiercer weapons might replace the cestus, ere they themselves commenced hostilities.