preceding; prior: an antecedent event.
a preceding circumstance, event, object, style, phenomenon, etc.
the history, events, characteristics, etc., of one's earlier life: Little is known about his birth and antecedents.
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.
the first term of a ratio; the first or third term of a proportion.
the first of two vectors in a dyad.
Logic. the conditional element in a proposition, as “Caesar conquered Gaul,” in “If Caesar conquered Gaul, he was a great general.”

1350–1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin antecēdent- (stem of antecēdēns) going before, present participle of antecēdere to antecede; see -ent

antecedental [an-tuh-see-den-tl] , adjective
antecedently, adverb

antecedence, antecedents.

1. precursory, preexistent. 2. precursor, forerunner, ancestor.

1. subsequent. 2. successor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
antecedent (ˌæntɪˈsiːdənt)
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
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
6.  preceding in time or order; prior

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

antecedent an·te·ce·dent (ān'tĭ-sēd'nt)
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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Example sentences
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.
Also, the pronouns in the second sentence do not agree in number with their
Weber's mature stage works had no true antecedent.
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