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

1475–85; preced(ent) + -ence

precedence, precedents, presidents. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
precedence or precedency (ˈprɛsɪdəns)
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

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 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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Slang Dictionary


lossage /pre's*-dens los'*j/ n. [C programmers] Coding error in an expression due to unexpected grouping of arithmetic or logical operators by the compiler. Used esp. of certain common coding errors in C due to the nonintuitively low precedence levels of `&', `|', `^', `<<', and `>>' (for this reason, experienced C programmers deliberately forget the language's baroque precedence hierarchy and parenthesize defensively). Can always be avoided by suitable use of parentheses. LISP fans enjoy pointing out that this can't happen in _their_ favorite language, which eschews precedence entirely, requiring one to use explicit parentheses everywhere. See aliasing bug, memory leak, memory smash, smash the stack, fandango on core, overrun screw.
Computing Dictionary

precedence definition

operator precedence
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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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
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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