Before Be*fore", adv. 1. On the fore part; in front, or in the direction of the front; -- opposed to {in the rear}. [1913 Webster]

The battle was before and behind. --2 Chron. xiii. 14. [1913 Webster]

2. In advance. ``I come before to tell you.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. In time past; previously; already. [1913 Webster]

You tell me, mother, what I knew before. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. Earlier; sooner than; until then. [1913 Webster]

When the butt is out, we will drink water; not a drop before. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Note: Before is often used in self-explaining compounds; as, before-cited, before-mentioned; beforesaid. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.