- the history, events, characteristics, etc., of one's earlier life: Little is known about his birth and antecedents.
- the first term of a ratio; the first or third term of a proportion.
- the first of two vectors in a dyad.
Origin of antecedent
Examples from the Web for antecedent
Even online chat rooms have an antecedent in the exchanges of nineteenth-century American telegraph operators.
The quarrel had been antecedent to Margaret going to Brent's Rock.Dracula's Guest|Bram Stoker
When there are two words in a clause, each capable of being an antecedent, the relative refers to the latter.A Handbook of the English Language|Robert Gordon Latham
It is a circumstance, this court favor, worth considering in the poet's life, as the antecedent to his manifold spirit of piety.Gifts of Genius|Various
Whether two changes are coexistent or are successive, each must be conceived as possessing an antecedent cause.A Commentary to Kant's 'Critique of Pure Reason'|Norman Kemp Smith
But it all belongs to the antecedent history of the social movement, because there was no definite aim before the proletariat.Socialism and the Social Movement in the 19th Century|Werner Sombart
British Dictionary definitions for antecedent
Word Origin and History for antecedent
late 14c. (n. and adj.), from Old French antecedent (14c.) or directly from Latin antecedentem (nominative antecedens), present participle of antecedere "go before, precede," from ante- "before" (see ante) + cedere "to yield" (see cede). Used as a noun in Latin philosophical writings.