something that must come before or is necessary to a subsequent result; condition: a precondition for a promotion.
verb (used with object)
to subject (a person or thing) to a special treatment in preparation for a subsequent experience, process, test, etc.: to precondition a surface to receive paint.

1910–15; pre- + condition Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
precondition (ˌpriːkənˈdɪʃən)
1.  a necessary or required condition; prerequisite
2.  (tr) psychol to present successively two stimuli to (an organism) without reinforcement so that they become associated; if a response is then conditioned to the second stimulus on its own, the same response will be evoked by the first stimulus

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

1825, from pre- + condition (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Without that precondition, nothing else would happen.
The grants provide the precondition to jump start the manufacturing.
Variation is an essential precondition that makes evolution possible, but does
  not make it happen.
Across the country, graft was a precondition of doing business.
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