One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Anticipate or forestall.
- ‘The insurgents entered the City by Lud Gate; but the Government had been beforehand with them.’
- ‘A little later he returns, and then as likely as not his terms are accepted, unless another has been beforehand with him and bought the lot.’
- ‘He tried to get the facts out of Susan, who he was sure would know, but Charlotte had been beforehand with him.’
- ‘I cut up along behind the hedge to be beforehand with you.’
- ‘Wherefore the monarchy and hierarchy will be beforehand with it, if they see their true interest.’
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