[pree-kuh n-dish-uh n]


something that must come before or is necessary to a subsequent result; condition: a precondition for a promotion.

verb (used with object)

to subject (a person or thing) to a special treatment in preparation for a subsequent experience, process, test, etc.: to precondition a surface to receive paint.

Origin of precondition

First recorded in 1910–15; pre- + condition Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for precondition

Contemporary Examples of precondition

Historical Examples of precondition

  • Such trust is a precondition to the existence of a thriving, modern economy.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • The value of the money is a precondition of the money-function.

    The Value of Money

    Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.

  • The precondition of every true calling must be, not love for art, but love for mankind.

    Romain Rolland

    Stefan Zweig

  • Even biologically, two individuals of the higher animal species are the precondition to a new individual existence.

  • The precondition of thought as of life is that nature be uniform, or ultimately that the world be rational.

British Dictionary definitions for precondition



a necessary or required condition; prerequisite


(tr) psychol to present successively two stimuli to (an organism) without reinforcement so that they become associated; if a response is then conditioned to the second stimulus on its own, the same response will be evoked by the first stimulus
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 precondition

1825, from pre- + condition (n.). As a verb from 1841.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper