noun pre·ce·dence \ˈpre-sə-dən(t)s, pri-ˈsē-dən(t)s\

: the condition of being more important than something or someone else and therefore coming or being dealt with first

Full Definition of PRECEDENCE

a obsolete :  antecedent
b :  the fact of coming or occurring earlier in time
a :  the right to superior honor on a ceremonial or formal occasion
b :  the order of ceremonial or formal preference
c :  priority of importance <your safety takes precedence>

Examples of PRECEDENCE

  1. <his merchandise order takes precedence because we received it first>
  2. Americans, Adams now believed, were as driven by the passions for wealth and precedence as any people in history. Ambition, avarice, and resentment, not virtue and benevolence, were the stuff of American society. —Gordon S. Wood, Revolutionary Characters, 2006


(see precede)
First Known Use: 1588


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