precursor

[ pri-kur-ser, pree-kur- ]
/ prɪˈkɜr sər, ˈpri kɜr- /

noun

a person or thing that precedes, as in a job, a method, etc.; predecessor.
a person, animal, or thing that goes before and indicates the approach of someone or something else; harbinger: The first robin is a precursor of spring.
Chemistry, Biochemistry. a chemical that is transformed into another compound, as in the course of a chemical reaction, and therefore precedes that compound in the synthetic pathway: Cholesterol is a precursor of testosterone.
Biology. a cell or tissue that gives rise to a variant, specialized, or more mature form.

Origin of precursor

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin praecursor forerunner. See pre-, cursor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for precursor

British Dictionary definitions for precursor

precursor

/ (prɪˈkɜːsə) /

noun

a person or thing that precedes and shows or announces someone or something to come; harbinger
a predecessor or forerunner
a chemical substance that gives rise to another more important substance

Word Origin for precursor

C16: from Latin praecursor one who runs in front, from praecurrere, from prae in front + currere to run
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

Medicine definitions for precursor

precursor

[ prĭ-kûrsər, prēkûr′sər ]

n.

One that precedes and indicates something to come.
One that precedes another; a forerunner or predecessor.
A biochemical substance, such as an intermediate compound in a chain of enzymatic reactions, that gives rise to a more stable or definitive product.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.