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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 from the web for antecedents
  • 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.
  • Its antecedents lie in pre-war periods of technological innovation.
  • Gilman's literary antecedents are intriguingly diverse.
  • Rant videos can be seen as borrowing conventions from their 17th-century antecedents.
  • But the story of its antecedents has acquired a drama all its own.
  • Then, with attention to the artists in that school comes recognition of their influences, their antecedents and their mentors.
  • For one thing, it has unusual international antecedents.
British Dictionary definitions for antecedents

antecedents

/ˌæntɪˈsiːdənts/
plural noun
1.
ancestry
2.
a person's past history

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 antecedents

antecedent

late 14c. (n. and adj.), from Old French antecedent (14c.) or directly from Latin antecedentem (nominative antecedens), present participle of antecedere "go before, precede," from ante- "before" (see ante) + cedere "to yield" (see cede). Used as a noun in Latin philosophical writings.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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antecedents 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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Word Value for antecedents

14
17
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