Dictionary

precursor

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

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

Full Definition of PRECURSOR

1
a :  one that precedes and indicates the approach of another
b :  predecessor
2
:  a substance, cell, or cellular component from which another substance, cell, or cellular component is formed
pre·cur·so·ry \-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

precursor

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

Medical Definition of PRECURSOR

1
:  one that precedes and indicates the onset of another <angina may be the precursor of a second infarction>
2
:  a substance, cell, or cellular component from which another substance, cell, or cellular component is formed especially by natural processes

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: precystPrevious Word in the Dictionary: precursiveAll Words Near: precursor
July 07, 2015
hoosegow Hear it
jail
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears