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They met ahead of the conference.

Does it mean before or after? Dictionary says it is about before the conference, but I think it happened after the conference

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They met ahead of the conference.

This means they met before the conference. I think you are confused as ahead (#2) also means toward the future, at a later time. But to understand this sentence, think this way...

You are two feet ahead of your friend. So, you are before your friend and he's after you in a queue.

This is just an example to make you understand that ahead is before. Kindly do not consider this as a concrete evidence!

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