All The Ways You Have Been Using Henceforth Incorrectly

Henceforth is a word that is not frequently used in everyday conversations especially among friends or family.It has recieved a lot of flack for being too formal-sounding and more likely to be found between the covers of a legal document or in a court setting.

The word, henceforth, simply means from this or that time on. It is a compound word much like thenceforth, hereinafter, hereat, thereat which are mostly in decline in terms of usage. It could depict the user as formal or even dated but there are times that it is useful to give that impression to people.

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Take for instance a parent scolding their child on a particular issue and warning them never to do it again. Henceforth may serve them well in spelling out the seriousness of that order.

The first usage of henceforth dates back to fourteenth-century English. It was and sometimes still is common in some types of formal English writing; being interchangeable with “from this time forward” or (as Meriam Webster defines the word) “from this point on.”

Regarding the origin of the word – hence in this context means ‘from now’ or ‘from here’ and forth means onward, i.e. from now onwards or from here onwards.

A lot of people have supposedly encountered the word for the first time in the pages of the bible. In 2nd Timothy 4:6-8, for instance, the bible says;

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Yet others encounter the word for the first time in legal documents like a rent contract. Some synonyms of henceforth include; henceforward, hereafter and related words can be; afterward (or afterwards), later, subsequently; hereupon, thereupon.

Going forward is probably the most common phrase that people now take to mean henceforth. There are also some other word that are misused in the place of henceforth; hereafter, as of and onwards.

Here is how to use the Words Hereafter, Henceforth, As of/ As from, Onwards

What we need to know is, do all four mean the same thing? How to use them? What are the differences between them?

These words are very similar for sure, Hereafter, henceforth, and onwards are all English adverbs while As of is an English preposition and they all have the same basic meaning.


HEREAFTER and HENCEFORTH are synonyms that mean from this time forward or after this time. They are commonly used in legal and formal writings.

1. Henceforth, she will be known as Queen Victoria.

2. Hereafter, she will be known as Queen Victoria.

ONWARDS is also an English adverb. In American English, we usually say onward without the “s”. Onward means to move toward a point in time or forward.

Onward can be used in the same way as henceforth and hereafter if it is used in a phrase such as “from this point onward” or “from now onward.”

1. I went to that school from 1999 onward.

2. From now onward, she will be known as Queen Victoria.

AS OF is an English preposition. As of means on, at, from, or from this time.

It can also be used in the same way as the other words above, although it is usually used with a specific time or date.

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1. As of 2:00, I still had not heard from the doctor.

2. The new law will be in effect as of July 1, 2013.

3. As of today, she will be known as Queen Victoria.

As from is not a phrase that is normally used by a native English speaker.

Henceforth is also implied in academic documents, for instance, if you are supposed to talk about something initially developed by a certain Frank and Doyle. To avoid repeating writing or saying ” Frank and Doyle”, you would say in parenthesis (F & D) the first time you mentioned Frank and Doyle, so that every time you say F & D, the reader knows it means Frank and Doyle.