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precedent

[ noun pres-i-duhnt; adjective pri-seed-nt, pres-i-duhnt ]
/ noun ˈprɛs ɪ dənt; adjective prɪˈsid nt, ˈprɛs ɪ dənt /
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See synonyms for: precedent / precedents on Thesaurus.com

noun
Law. a legal decision or form of proceeding serving as an authoritative rule or pattern in future similar or analogous cases.
any act, decision, or case that serves as a guide or justification for subsequent situations.
adjective pre·ce·dent [pri-seed-nt, pres-i-duhnt] /prɪˈsid nt, ˈprɛs ɪ dənt/
going or coming before; preceding; anterior.
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Origin of precedent

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English (adjective), from Middle French, from Latin praecēdent- (stem of praecēdēns ), present participle of praecēdere “to go in front of, go ahead of”; the noun is from the adjective; see precede, -ent

OTHER WORDS FROM precedent

prec·e·dent·less, adjectivenon·prec·e·dent, nounnon·pre·ced·ent, adjectivequa·si-pre·ced·ent, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH precedent

precedence, precedents , presidents
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use precedent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for precedent

precedent

noun (ˈprɛsɪdənt)
law a judicial decision that serves as an authority for deciding a later case
an example or instance used to justify later similar occurrences
adjective (prɪˈsiːdənt, ˈprɛsɪdənt)
preceding
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

Cultural definitions for precedent

precedent
[ (press-uh-duhnt) ]

A previous ruling by a court that influences subsequent decisions in cases with similar issues.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with precedent

precedent

see set a precedent.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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