- 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.
- going or coming before; preceding; anterior.
Origin of precedent
Examples from the Web for precedent
He experimented boldly without much regard for precedent or the status quo.From The Square Deal to The New Deal: The Overlapping Political Identities of TR and FDR
September 9, 2014
Tyner pointed the Hattiesburg race as precedent for having a second election.Could Chris McDaniel Get A Do-Over In The Mississippi Senate Race?
July 10, 2014
Alito opened the door by questioning the “anomalous” Abood precedent, which lets states coerce union members into paying dues.The Conservative Case for Unions After the Harris v. Quinn Decision
July 2, 2014
The precedent this new law (Act 697) sets is alarming, according to its opponents.Should Tony the Truck Stop Tiger Go Free?
June 28, 2014
But Leonard claims that the reserve could set a precedent for the federal government closing more high-use areas to sport fishing.Republicans: Obama’s Ocean Protection Plan Evidence of ‘Imperial Presidency’
June 23, 2014
When you start thinking about it, I suppose we set some kind of precedent here.Arm of the Law
It had the authority of precedent in uncounted graduate classes.A Breath of Prairie and other stories
By all the rules of precedent and South Harniss business the other should have been at the store.Mary-'Gusta
Joseph C. Lincoln
But let us bear in mind that Alexander did not lack a precedent for this particular act.The Life of Cesare Borgia
No doubt I should present a precedent in undertaking to look after his in like circumstances.The Memorabilia
- law a judicial decision that serves as an authority for deciding a later case
- an example or instance used to justify later similar occurrences
Word Origin and History for precedent
early 15c., "case which may be taken as a rule in similar cases," from Middle French precedent, noun use of an adjective, from Latin praecedentum (nominative praecedens), present participle of praecedere "go before" (see precede). Meaning "thing or person that goes before another" is attested from mid-15c. As an adjective in English from c.1400. As a verb meaning "to furnish with a precedent" from 1610s, now only in past participle precedented.
A previous ruling by a court that influences subsequent decisions in cases with similar issues.
Idioms and Phrases with precedent
see set a precedent.