Definitions

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

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

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

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

  • verb To prey upon something.
  • verb 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".)
  • verb transitive To exist, or to occur before something else; to antedate (the more correct term for this usage.)
  • noun A publication, such as a newspaper or magazine, that is issued with a printed date later than the date of issue.

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

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

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From predation, predator

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From pre- 'before' + date

Examples

Comments

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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

  • Beware the ambiguity between the more common and the science-ese senses.

    July 20, 2019