Simple Definition of precursor
: something that comes before something else and that often leads to or influences its development
Examples of precursor in a sentence
<18th-century lyric poets like Robert Burns were precursors of the Romantics>
<a precursor of the modern eggplant>
Did You Know?
With its prefix pre-, meaning "before", a precursor is literally a "forerunner", and in fact forerunner first appeared as the translation of the Latin praecursor. But the two words function a little differently today. A forerunner may simply come before another thing, but a precursor generally paves the way for something. So, for example, the Office of Strategic Services in World War II was the immediate precursor of today's Central Intelligence Agency, while the blues music of the 1930s and 1940s was only one of the precursors of the rock and roll of today.
Origin and Etymology 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
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
Seen and Heard
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