Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of antecedent
Meaning of antecedent by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • IPA: /æntəˈsidn̩t/, /æn'tesədn̩t/


    From Old French antecedent ( French antécédent ), from Latin antecēdēns ( “go before” ), from antecēdere ( “to yield before” ) .


    antecedent ( not comparable )

    1. Earlier, either in time or order .


    solid #DDD">Examples ( linguistics: expression referred to by pronoun )

    antecedent ( plural: antecedents )

    1. Any thing that precedes another thing, especially the cause of the second thing .
    2. An ancestor .
    3. ( grammar ) A word, phrase or clause referred to by a pronoun .
    4. ( logic ) The conditional part of a hypothetical proposition .




    See also

Explanation of antecedent by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. preceding in time or order

    1. the referent of an anaphor

    2. a preceding occurrence or cause or event

    3. someone from whom you are descended ( but usually more remote than a grandparent )

    4. anything that precedes something similar in time

    5. phrenology was an antecedent of modern neuroscience

    Definition of antecedent by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Antecedent a. [L. antecedens, -entis, p. pr. of antecedere: cf. F. antécédent.]
      1. Going before in time; prior; anterior; preceding; as, “an event antecedent to the Deluge; an antecedent cause.”

      2. Presumptive; as, “an antecedent improbability”.

      Syn. -- Prior; previous; foregoing.

    2. Antecedent, n. [Cf. F. antécédent.]
      1. That which goes before in time; that which precedes. South.

      The Homeric mythology, as well as the Homeric language, has surely its antecedents. Max Miller.

      2. One who precedes or goes in front. [Obs.]

      My antecedent, or my gentleman usher. Massinger.

      3. pl. The earlier events of one's life; previous principles, conduct, course, history. J. H. Newman.

      If the troops . . . prove worthy of their antecedents, the victory is surely ours. Gen. G. McClellan.

      4. ( Gram. ) The noun to which a relative refers; as, “in the sentence “Solomon was the prince who built the temple,” prince is the antecedent of who”.

      5. ( Logic ) The first or conditional part of a hypothetical proposition; as, If the earth is fixed, the sun must move. The first of the two propositions which constitute an enthymeme or contracted syllogism; as, Every man is mortal; therefore the king must die.

      6. ( Math. ) 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.