[ pres-i-duh ns, pri-seed-ns ]
/ ˈprɛs ɪ dəns, prɪˈsid ns /


act or fact of preceding.
the right to precede in order, rank, or importance; priority.
the fact of preceding in time; antedating.
the right to precede others in ceremonies or social formalities.
the order to be observed in ceremonies by persons of different ranks, as by diplomatic protocol.

Origin of precedence

First recorded in 1475–85; preced(ent) + -ence

Can be confused

precedence precedents presidents Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for precedence

British Dictionary definitions for precedence



/ (ˈprɛsɪdəns) /


the act of preceding or the condition of being precedent
the ceremonial order or priority to be observed by persons of different stations on formal occasionsthe officers are seated according to precedence
a right to preferential treatmentI take precedence over you
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