- preceding; prior: an antecedent event.
- a preceding circumstance, event, object, style, phenomenon, etc.
- the history, events, characteristics, etc., of one's earlier life: Little is known about his birth and antecedents.
- 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.
- the first term of a ratio; the first or third term of a proportion.
- the first of two vectors in a dyad.
- Logic. the conditional element in a proposition, as “Caesar conquered Gaul,” in “If Caesar conquered Gaul, he was a great general.”
Origin of antecedent
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. precursory, preexistent. 2. precursor, forerunner, ancestor.
1. subsequent. 2. successor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for antecedent
Even online chat rooms have an antecedent in the exchanges of nineteenth-century American telegraph operators.Social Media is So Old Even the Romans Had It
October 25, 2013
The antecedent of this pronoun had been mentioned for the last time at eight o'clock.Barnaby Rudge
If magnetism be an antecedent factor, magnetism may be its product.The Machinery of the Universe
Amos Emerson Dolbear
The antecedent in this instance is not Rubicon, but the entire clause.The Verbalist
Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)
His scientists, his historians were all of the Victorian age or antecedent thereto.A Daughter of the Middle Border
No, its head spring, in this case, was antecedent to the lake.Bertha and Her Baptism
- an event, circumstance, etc, that happens before another
- 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
- logic the hypothetical clause, usually introduced by "if", in a conditional statement: that which implies the other
- maths an obsolescent name for numerator (def. 1)
- denying the antecedent logic 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
- 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
Word Origin and History for antecedent
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A precursor.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.