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precedence

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

Simple Definition of precedence

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of precedence

  1. 1 a obsolete :  antecedent b :  the fact of coming or occurring earlier in time

  2. 2 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 in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. So, too, did most accept that all economies are characterized by struggles for power and precedence among men and institutions run by men; in other words, that all economies are fundamentally political in nature. —Barry C. Lynn, Harper's, July 2006

  3. Jefferson abolished precedence and placement at White House dinners to emphasize that all guests were equal, but his system—he called it “pell-mell”—was abandoned, and we have guests of honor and use place cards today. —Naomi Bliven, New York Times Book Review, 12 Sept. 1999

  4. <his merchandise order takes precedence because we received it first>



Origin of precedence

(see precede)


First Known Use: 1588




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