predecessor

[pred-uh-ses-er, pred-uh-ses-er or, esp. British, pree-duh-ses-er]
noun
1.
a person who precedes another in an office, position, etc.
2.
something succeeded or replaced by something else: The new monument in the park is more beautiful than its predecessor.
3.
Archaic. an ancestor; forefather.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English predecessour < Anglo-French < Late Latin praedēcessor, equivalent to Latin prae- pre- + dēcessor retiring official, itself equivalent to dēced-, variant stem of dēcēdere to withdraw (dē- de- + cēdere to yield; see cede) + -tor -tor, with dt > ss

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Collins
World English Dictionary
predecessor (ˈpriːdɪˌsɛsə)
 
n
1.  a person who precedes another, as in an office
2.  something that precedes something else
3.  an ancestor; forefather
 
[C14: via Old French from Late Latin praedēcessor, from prae before + dēcēdere to go away, from away + cēdere to go]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

predecessor
late 14c., "one who has held an office or position before the present holder," from L.L. prædecessorem (nom. prædecessor), c.420, from L. præ "before" + decessor "retiring official," from decess-, pp. stem of decedere "go away," also "die" (see decease).
Meaning "ancestor, forefather" is recorded from c.1400.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

predecessor definition


parent

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Any newcomer has to fill all the niche roles that its predecessor managed.
Despite the more predictable plot line, this volume is as assured and as
  uplifting as its predecessor.
Miller alters the footprint but respects the integrity of his predecessor's
  work.
Like its predecessor, this book is neither scholarly nor overtly
  self-help–oriented.
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