precedence

[pres-i-duhns, pri-seed-ns]
noun
1.
act or fact of preceding.
2.
the right to precede in order, rank, or importance; priority.
3.
the fact of preceding in time; antedating.
4.
the right to precede others in ceremonies or social formalities.
5.
the order to be observed in ceremonies by persons of different ranks, as by diplomatic protocol.

Origin:
1475–85; preced(ent) + -ence

precedence, precedents, presidents.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
precedence or precedency (ˈprɛsɪdəns)
 
n
1.  the act of preceding or the condition of being precedent
2.  the ceremonial order or priority to be observed by persons of different stations on formal occasions: the officers are seated according to precedence
3.  a right to preferential treatment: I take precedence over you
 
precedency or precedency
 
n

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

precedence
late 15c., "being a precedent," from precedent (n.). Meaning "fact of preceding another, right of preceding another" is from c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

precedence definition


operator precedence
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Apply the contract-type order of precedence carefully.
If you don't have a designation on file, then the funds will be distributed
  according to the order of precedence.
However, if you are happy with the order of precedence, you don't have to do
  anything.
Precedence shall be the order of date of acceptance, except when two or more
  decorations from the same agency are worn.
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