• synonyms


or pre-ex·ist

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verb (used without object)
  1. to exist beforehand.
  2. to exist in a previous state.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to exist prior to (something or someone else); precede: primitive artifacts that preexisted sophisticated tools.
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Origin of preexist

First recorded in 1590–1600; pre- + exist
Related formspre·ex·ist·ence, nounpre·ex·ist·ent, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pre-existing


  1. occurring or existing previously
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Derived Formspre-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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper