Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An act or instance that may be used as an example in dealing with subsequent similar instances.
  • noun Law A judicial decision that is binding on other equal or lower courts in the same jurisdiction as to its conclusion on a point of law, and may also be persuasive to courts in other jurisdictions, in subsequent cases involving sufficiently similar facts.
  • noun Convention or custom arising from long practice.
  • adjective Preceding.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • (prē˙-sē′ dent). Preceding; going before in the order of time; antecedent; anterior; previous; former.
  • noun (pres′ ē˙-dent). A preceding action or circumstance which may serve as a pattern or example in subsequent cases; an antecedent instance which creates a rule for following cases; a model instance.
  • noun Specifically, in law: A judicial decision, interlocutory or final, which serves as a rule for future determinations in similar or analogous cases.
  • noun A form of proceeding or of an instrument followed or deemed worthy to be followed as a pattern in similar or analogous cases.
  • noun A custom, habit, or rule established; previous example or usage.
  • noun A presage; sign; indication.
  • noun An original, as the original draft of a writing.
  • noun Synonyms Pattern, Model, etc. See example.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Going before; anterior; preceding; antecedent.
  • adjective (Law) a condition which precede the vesting of an estate, or the accruing of a right.
  • noun Something done or said that may serve as an example to authorize a subsequent act of the same kind; an authoritative example.
  • noun obsolete A preceding circumstance or condition; an antecedent; hence, a prognostic; a token; a sign.
  • noun obsolete A rough draught of a writing which precedes a finished copy.
  • noun (Law) A judicial decision which serves as a rule for future determinations in similar or analogous cases; an authority to be followed in courts of justice; forms of proceeding to be followed in similar cases.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An act in the past which may be used as an example to help decide the outcome of similar instances in the future.
  • noun law A decided case which is cited or used as an example to justify a judgment in a subsequent case.
  • noun obsolete, with definite article The aforementioned (thing).
  • noun The previous version.
  • adjective Happening or taking place earlier in time; previous or preceding.
  • verb transitive, law To provide precedents for.
  • verb transitive, law To be a precedent for.

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

  • noun an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a later time
  • noun a subject mentioned earlier (preceding in time)
  • adjective preceding in time, order, or significance
  • noun (civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial decisions
  • noun a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents rather than statutory laws

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin praecēdēns, praecēdent-, present participle of praecēdere, to go before; see precede.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin praecēdēns, present participle of praecēdere ("to precede"); See precede.

Examples

Comments

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  • That which preceded; established protocol.

    November 22, 2007