Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To mark or designate with a date earlier than the actual one: predated the check.
  • transitive v. To precede in time; antedate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To designate a date earlier than the actual one; to move a date, appointment, event, or period of time to an earlier point (contrast "postdate".)
  • v. To exist, or to occur before something else; to antedate (the more correct term for this usage.)
  • n. A publication, such as a newspaper or magazine, that is issued with a printed date later than the date of issue.
  • v. To prey upon something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To date anticipation; to affix to (a document) an earlier than the actual date; to antedate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To antedate; date before the actual time: as, to predate a bond.
  • To possess an earlier date than; precede in date.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. establish something as being earlier relative to something else
  • v. prey on or hunt for
  • v. come before
  • v. be earlier in time; go back further

Etymologies

From pre- 'before' + date (Wiktionary)
From predation, predator (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • For years, conservationists have been concerned about the impact of invasive plant species in the Galápagos Islands. Hundreds of species have been identified as being nonnative, introduced through human contact. The idea is to remove these plants to help keep the archipelago ecologically pristine.
    That’s a worthy goal. But there’s just one problem, according to a study in Science: some of these pariah plants turn out to be native after all. They predate humans in the Galápagos by thousands of years.


    (The New York Times, Invasive Plants in Galápagos May Really Be Native, by Henry Fountain, November 20, 2008)

    November 21, 2008