from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Going before; preceding.
- n. One that precedes another.
- n. A preceding occurrence, cause, or event. See Synonyms at cause.
- n. The important events and occurrences in one's early life.
- n. One's ancestors.
- n. Grammar The word, phrase, or clause that determines what a pronoun refers to, as the children in The teacher asked the children where they were going.
- n. Mathematics The first term of a ratio.
- n. Logic The conditional member of a hypothetical proposition.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Earlier, either in time or order.
- n. Any thing that precedes another thing, especially the cause of the second thing.
- n. An ancestor.
- n. A word, phrase or clause referred to by a pronoun.
- n. The conditional part of a hypothetical proposition.
- n. The first term of a ratio, i.e. the term a in the ratio a:b, the other being the consequent.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Going before in time; prior; anterior; preceding
- adj. Presumptive.
- n. That which goes before in time; that which precedes.
- n. One who precedes or goes in front.
- n. The earlier events of one's life; previous principles, conduct, course, history.
- n. The noun to which a relative refers.
- n. The first or conditional part of a hypothetical proposition; as, If the earth is fixed, the sun must move.
- n. The first of the two propositions which constitute an enthymeme or contracted syllogism; as, Every man is mortal; therefore the king must die.
- n. The first of the two terms of a ratio; the first or third of the four terms of a proportion. In the ratio a:b, a is the antecedent, and b the consequent.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Being before in time, place, rank, or logical order; prior; anterior; as, an event antecedent to the deluge.
- n. One who or that which goes before in time or place.
- n. In grammar: The noun to which a relative, pronoun refers: as, Solomon was the prince who built the temple, where the word prince is the antecedent of who. Formerly, the noun to which a following pronoun refers, and whose repetition is avoided by the use of the pronoun.
- n. In logic: That member of a conditional proposition of the form, “If A is, then B is,” which states, as a hypothesis, the condition of the truth of what is expressed in the other member, termed the consequent: in the proposition given the antecedent is “if A is.”
- n. The premise of a consequence, or syllogism in the first figure with the major premise suppressed.
- n. An event upon which another event follows.
- n. In mathematics, the first of two terms of a ratio, or that which is compared with the other. Thus, if the ratio is that of 2 to 3, or of a to b, 2 or a is the antecedent.
- n. In music, a passage proposed to be answered as the subject of a fugue.
- n. plural The earlier events or circumstances of one's life; one's origin, previous course, associations, conduct, or avowed principles.
- In physical geography, noting rivers or streams which have persisted in their courses in spite of an uplift of the land: thus the Meuse is an antecedent river, because it has persisted in its course by cutting a deep gorge through the uplifted area of the Ardennes.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)
- n. the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is referred to by an anaphoric pronoun
- n. anything that precedes something similar in time
- n. a preceding occurrence or cause or event
- adj. preceding in time or order
-- From what words is the term antecedent derived?
LL has some great examples of singular they even when the gender of the antecedent is not in doubt, and MWDCEU has one where the antecedent is any young lady!
Howard's most obvious antecedent is my older brother Hank, who was profoundly autistic throughout his life.
The double letters indicate that the antecedent is plural.
This bolt action's antecedent is the Kentucky rifle.
Depressive disorder as a long-term antecedent risk factor for incident back pain: a 13-year follow-up study from the Baltimore Epidemiological Catchment Area sample.
a phenomenon which contains an occurrence, I call the antecedent state of my perception, A, and the following state, B, the perception B can only follow A in apprehension, and the perception A cannot follow B, but only precede it.
Cosby’s most obvious antecedent is Booker T. Washington.
I see no real problem with the above example, because walking along the beach clearly doesn’t modify the sun, and it’s pretty obvious that the intended antecedent is the speaker, or whoever has recently been discussed in the discourse.
A common inaccuracy is the use of the plural pronoun when the antecedent is a distributive expression such as each, each one, everybody, every one, many a man, which, though implying more than one person, requires the pronoun to be in the singular.