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come before (someone or something)
1. To happen or exist before someone or something else. We have to thank the generations that came before us for their hard work in establishing this organization. I can never remember which verse comes before the bridge.
2. To formally present oneself to another person or group. Due to your inappropriate actions, you will have to come before a disciplinary committee.
3. To be more important than something else; to be prioritized over something else. I'm constantly reminding my kids that schoolwork comes before any social events.
4. To be a topic of discussion or deliberation for a person or group. When will my petition finally come before the local officials?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
come before someone or something
1. [of persons or things in an order or a line] to be in front of or in advance of someone or something. This one comes before that one. She comes before me.
2. [for one] to present oneself in the presence of someone or a group. Thank you for coming before this committee with your testimony. The judge said I would have to come before her again next month.
3. [for an issue] to be raised before someone, a board, committee, etc.; [for an issue] to appear on the agenda of someone or a deliberative body. The matter of the broken windows came before the school board at last. The question came before the business manager.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To occur sooner or earlier in a sequence than something: Easter comes before April this year. The letter B comes before the letter C.
2. To be more important than something: Playing fairly comes before winning the game.
3. To present oneself to some group: They came before the court on Wednesday, and the trial was finished by the end of the week.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.