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antecedent

[an-tuh-seed-nt] /ˌæn təˈsid nt/
adjective
1.
preceding; prior:
an antecedent event.
noun
2.
a preceding circumstance, event, object, style, phenomenon, etc.
3.
antecedents.
  1. ancestors.
  2. the history, events, characteristics, etc., of one's earlier life:
    Little is known about his birth and antecedents.
4.
Grammar. a word, phrase, or clause, usually a substantive, that is replaced by a pronoun or other substitute later, or occasionally earlier, in the same or in another, usually subsequent, sentence. In Jane lost a glove and she can't find it, Jane is the antecedent of she and glove is the antecedent of it.
5.
Mathematics.
  1. the first term of a ratio; the first or third term of a proportion.
  2. the first of two vectors in a dyad.
6.
Logic. the conditional element in a proposition, as “Caesar conquered Gaul,” in “If Caesar conquered Gaul, he was a great general.”.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin antecēdent- (stem of antecēdēns) going before, present participle of antecēdere to antecede; see -ent
Related forms
antecedental
[an-tuh-see-den-tl] /ˌæn tə siˈdɛn tl/ (Show IPA),
adjective
antecedently, adverb
Can be confused
antecedence, antecedents.
Synonyms
1. precursory, preexistent. 2. precursor, forerunner, ancestor.
Antonyms
1. subsequent. 2. successor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for antecedent
  • It's fairly common to write a sequel, but not so common to write an antecedent.
  • Somewhat more thoughtful than its well-loved antecedent, this boldly drawn novel is no less commanding.
  • The only way to avoid a recession is to restrain the antecedent boom.
  • Also, the pronouns in the second sentence do not agree in number with their antecedent.
  • The opportunities for the poor are restricted not only by antecedent poverty but also by two types of structural faults.
  • Weber's mature stage works had no true antecedent.
  • It seems the antecedent and the precedent of your sentence are unrelated.
  • We don't have an antecedent to determine what the authors had in mind.
  • That's fine, too, except that the scene has no antecedent.
  • The recent restoration of parks has a historical antecedent in Hartford.
British Dictionary definitions for antecedent

antecedent

/ˌæntɪˈsiːdənt/
noun
1.
an event, circumstance, etc, that happens before another
2.
(grammar) a word or phrase to which a pronoun refers. In the sentence "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," people is the antecedent of who
3.
(logic) the hypothetical clause, usually introduced by "if", in a conditional statement: that which implies the other
4.
(maths) an obsolescent name for numerator (sense 1)
5.
(logic) denying the antecedent, the fallacy of inferring the falsehood of the consequent of a conditional statement, given the truth of the conditional and the falsehood of its antecedent, as if there are five of them, there are more than four: there are not five, so there are not more than four
adjective
6.
preceding in time or order; prior
See also antecedents
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for antecedent
antecedent
late 14c., from Fr. antecedent (14c.), from L. antecedentem (nom. antecedens), prp. of antecedere "go before," from ante- "before" (see ante) + cedere "to yield" (see cede). Used as a noun in L. philosophical writings.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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antecedent in Medicine

antecedent an·te·ce·dent (ān'tĭ-sēd'nt)
n.
A precursor.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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