- 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 antecedents
The SUVs, coupes, and sedans that populate dealer showrooms are much greener than their antecedents.Farewell to the Gas Station: The Demise of a Car-Culture Icon
May 5, 2013
These examples of art bleeding into marketing have antecedents, of course.Art and High Commerce
December 10, 2009
It cannot be denied, then, that men's motives are the results of antecedents.Old-Fashioned Ethics and Common-Sense Metaphysics</p>
William Thomas Thornton
How could I get at some tangible conclusion as to her character and antecedents?The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales
Arthur Conan Doyle
All this is, perhaps, what you would expect of a race of islanders with our antecedents.The Little Manx Nation - 1891
"We are informed, sir, of your antecedents," he staggered Blake by answering.Mistress Wilding
Not a syllable had reached that country of her antecedents or fame.
- a person's past history
- 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 antecedents
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.