antecedent

[an-tuh-seed-nt]
adjective
1.
preceding; prior: an antecedent event.
noun
2.
a preceding circumstance, event, object, style, phenomenon, etc.
3.
antecedents.
b.
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.
a.
the first term of a ratio; the first or third term of a proportion.
b.
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; 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.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
antecedent (ˌæntɪˈsiːdənt)
 
n
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
 
adj
6.  preceding in time or order; prior

antecedents (ˌæntɪˈsiːdənts)
 
pl n
1.  ancestry
2.  a person's past history

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

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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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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Example sentences
In it, she finds her father's biography and her own antecedents.
The megafaunal extinctions of the last 50000 years appear to have no
  antecedents.
The big disagreement problem, it appears, is in pronouns and antecedents.
Blogs and the reasons they exist have historical antecedents.
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