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] [1913 Webster] Myself was stirring ere the break of day. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Ere sails were spread new oceans to explore. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] Sir, come down ere my child die. --John iv. 49. [1913 Webster] 2. Rather than. [1913 Webster] I will be thrown into Etna, . . . ere I will leave her. --Shak. [1913 Webster] {Ere long}, before, shortly. --Shak. {Ere now}, formerly, heretofore. --Shak. {Ere that}, & {Or are}. Same as {Ere}. --Shak. [1913 Webster]