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noun pre·cur·sor \pri-ˈkər-sər, ˈprē-ˌ\

Simple Definition of precursor

  • : something that comes before something else and that often leads to or influences its development

Full Definition of precursor

  1. 1 a :  one that precedes and indicates the approach of another b :  predecessor

  2. 2 :  a substance, cell, or cellular component from which another substance, cell, or cellular component is formed

pre·cur·so·ry play \-ˈkərs-rē, -ˈkər-sə-\ adjective

Examples of precursor

  1. <18th-century lyric poets like Robert Burns were precursors of the Romantics>

  2. <a precursor of the modern eggplant>

Origin of precursor

Middle English precursoure, from Latin praecursor, from praecurrere to run before, from prae- pre- + currere to run — more at current

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of precursor

forerunner, precursor, harbinger, herald mean one that goes before or announces the coming of another. forerunner is applicable to anything that serves as a sign or presage <the blockade was the forerunner of war>. precursor applies to a person or thing paving the way for the success or accomplishment of another <18th century poets like Burns were precursors of the Romantics>. harbinger and herald both apply, chiefly figuratively, to one that proclaims or announces the coming or arrival of a notable event <their early victory was the harbinger of a winning season> <the herald of a new age in medicine>.

Medical Dictionary


play play
noun pre·cur·sor \pri-ˈkər-sər, ˈprē-ˌ\

Medical Definition of precursor

  1. 1:  one that precedes and indicates the onset of another <angina may be the precursor of a second infarction>

  2. 2:  a substance, cell, or cellular component from which another substance, cell, or cellular component is formed especially by natural processes

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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