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transitive verb su·per·sede \ˌsü-pər-ˈsēd\

Simple Definition of supersede

  • : to take the place of (someone or something that is old, no longer useful, etc.) : to replace (someone or something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of supersede



  1. 1a :  to cause to be set asideb :  to force out of use as inferior

  2. 2 :  to take the place or position of

  3. 3 :  to displace in favor of another



Examples of supersede in a sentence

  1. Fortunately, the scientific enterprise has its own self-correcting mechanisms that eventually sort things out. Studies that are wrong will be superseded by better studies with different results. Studies that are right will be corroborated by other good studies. —Harriet Hall, Skeptic, 2007

  2. The ancient human carriers of information and understanding—elders, priests, bards, teachers, and community members—are superseded by a more durable and efficient medium, the printed word. —M. Rex Miller, The Millennium Matrix, 2004

  3. Upgrading America's too-old, too-slow telephone network, which took about a century to build, is a massive task. But if you believe predictions that the Internet will one day supersede the telephone as the world's primary means of communications, these companies will be road kill if they simply sit by the wayside. —Bethany McLean, Fortune, 6 Dec. 1999

  4. This edition supersedes the previous one.

  5. Former stars were being superseded by younger actors.

Origin and Etymology of supersede

Middle English (Scots) superceden to defer, from Middle French, from Latin supersedēre to sit on top, refrain from, from super- + sedēre to sit — more at sit

First Known Use: 1654

Synonym Discussion of supersede

replace, displace, supplant, supersede mean to put out of a usual or proper place or into the place of another. replace implies a filling of a place once occupied by something lost, destroyed, or no longer usable or adequate <replaced the broken window>. displace implies an ousting or dislodging <war had displaced thousands>. supplant implies either a dispossessing or usurping of another's place, possessions, or privileges or an uprooting of something and its replacement with something else <was abruptly supplanted in her affections by another>. supersede implies replacing a person or thing that has become superannuated, obsolete, or otherwise inferior <the new edition supersedes all previous ones>.

SUPERSEDE Defined for Kids


verb su·per·sede \ˌsü-pər-ˈsēd\

Definition of supersede for Students



  1. :  to take the place or position of <These instructions supersede those you received earlier.>

Law Dictionary


transitive verb su·per·sede \ˌsü-pər-ˈsēd\

Legal Definition of supersede



  1. 1 :  to subject to postponement or suspension; especially :  to suspend the operation of (a judgment or order) by means of a supersedeas

  2. 2 :  to take the place of in authority :  preempt, override

  3. 3 :  to take the place of and render null or ineffective

Seen and Heard

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