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See more synonyms for precede on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), pre·ced·ed, pre·ced·ing.
  1. to go before, as in place, order, rank, importance, or time.
  2. to introduce by something preliminary; preface: to precede one's statement with a qualification.
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verb (used without object), pre·ced·ed, pre·ced·ing.
  1. to go or come before.
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  1. Journalism. copy printed at the beginning of a news story presenting late bulletins, editorial notes, or prefatory remarks.
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Origin of precede

1325–75; Middle English preceden < Latin praecēdere. See pre-, cede
Related formspre·ced·a·ble, adjectiveun·pre·ced·ed, adjective
Can be confusedprecede proceed
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for preceded

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • At the rear of the house she shook off his arm and preceded him around the building.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Nor did the service of praise which preceded the election induce a milder spirit.

  • Two of these men walked abreast, the other preceded them a few steps.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • His fame had preceded him, and he became the lion of society.

  • At this very moment the soldiers, preceded by a magistrate, entered the room.

    The Black Tulip

    Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

British Dictionary definitions for preceded


  1. to go or be before (someone or something) in time, place, rank, etc
  2. (tr) to preface or introduce
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Word Origin

C14: via Old French from Latin praecēdere to go before, from prae before + cēdere to move
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 preceded



early 15c., "lead the way; occur before," from Middle French preceder and directly from Latin praecedere "to go before," from prae "before" (see pre-) + cedere "to go" (see cede). Meaning "to walk in front of" is late 15c.; that of "to go before in rank or importance" is attested from mid-15c. Related: Preceded; preceding.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper