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or pre-exist

[pree-ig-zist] /ˌpri ɪgˈzɪst/
verb (used without object)
to exist beforehand.
to exist in a previous state.
verb (used with object)
to exist prior to (something or someone else); precede:
primitive artifacts that preexisted sophisticated tools.
Origin of preexist
1590-1600; pre- + exist
Related forms
preexistence, noun
preexistent, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for pre-existing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All we get is a transformation of pre-existing material into new forms.

    Theism or Atheism Chapman Cohen
  • To speak of an end is to think of a pre-existing model which has only to be realized.

    Creative Evolution Henri Bergson
  • Of consequence, "justice requires that subsequent testimony shall be received to prove a pre-existing fact."

  • It implies a pre-existing something, inwrapped as a germ in its environment.

    Life: Its True Genesis R. W. Wright
  • The spiritual experience is determined by the pre-existing religious belief.

    Religion & Sex Chapman Cohen
British Dictionary definitions for pre-existing


occurring or existing previously
Derived Forms
pre-existence, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for pre-existing

also preexisting, 1590s, past participle adjective from pre-exist. The medical insurance pre-existing condition is attested from 1942.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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