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

  • n. The fact, state, or right of preceding; priority: Applications arriving first will receive precedence.
  • n. Priority claimed or received because of preeminence or superiority: The company asserted its precedence as the leading manufacturer of microchips.
  • n. A ceremonial order of rank or preference, especially as observed on formal occasions: Recipients of military honors were called in order of precedence—highest ranking officers first.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of preceding in importance or priority.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or state of preceding or going before in order of time; priority.
  • n. The act or state of going or being before in rank or dignity, or the place of honor; right to a more honorable place; superior rank.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of going before; specifically, the right of preceding others in public or private ceremonies; the right to a more honorable place in public processions or assemblies, or in the formalities of social life; social superiority; advantage in rank. In many countries precedence is a matter of strict regulation. See order of precedence, below.
  • n. Prior place; superior position; position indicative of superior rank.
  • n. Previous occurrence, or existence before; priority in time.
  • n. That which goes before; a preceding act or speech.

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

  • n. status established in order of importance or urgency
  • n. the act of preceding in time or order or rank (as in a ceremony)
  • n. preceding in time


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Nations confront the problematic tension between giving their – people-citizens-however you want to call it – a certain precedence, which is deeply embedded in the very idea of the nation-state however un-P.C. it sounds, while not sacrificing their broader humanity regarding the world.

    Matthew Yglesias » But Is Nothing The Alternative?

  • The only time the right-wing nutjobs honor precedence is when their idealogues on the court use it to their favorite flavor of outrage.

    New Haven firefighter blasts Sotomayor for ruling 'along racial lines'

  • While the wealthy sportsman was the original English motorist, it was not until Edward VII took up motoring (with relish) that the motorcar began to gain precedence over the horse and carriage with the Marlborough House Set.

    The Motorcar | Edwardian Promenade

  • «sleeping-sickness» takes precedence from the medical point of view.

    Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1907 - Presentation Speech

  • Hence the Prosodists distinguish between Ajzá aslíyah or primary feet (from Asl, root), in which this precedence is observed, and Ájzá far’íyah or secondary feet (from

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • The seven exhortations of this pirate ` s code ascend in precedence.

    I, Pirate …

  • Courtenay and Lady Beaulyon took place, as to whether 'Maryllia Van' in her professed detestation of Lord Roxmouth, would forget etiquette and the rule of 'precedence' -- but they soon saw she did not intend to so commit herself.

    God's Good Man

  • Normally the whole "inner turmoil" aspect of John Lennon takes John Lennon facial-expression precedence over happiness.


  • "The system predicts the arrival time of sound and thereby, says, Dave Haydon, Out Board's director, matches the sound location with the visual location of the performers on the stage using a psychoacoustic phenomenon known as precedence," writes Swedberg. precedence effect (or "law of first wave front") is our brain's ability to determine the location of sounds amidst conflicting signals based on the direction of the first waves of sound.

    Original Signal - The best of Web 2.0

  • Because I have not been watching many movies, I've let go of the idea of precedence and am more open to the more subtle, more creative modern film.

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