antecessor

noun
an·​te·​ces·​sor | \ ˌan-ti-ˈse-sər How to pronounce antecessor (audio) \

Definition of antecessor

: one that goes before : predecessor

Did you know?

Antecessor may remind you of "predecessor," its synonymous and more familiar cousin - and there's a good reason for that. Both words ultimately derive from the Latin verb cedere, meaning "to go." "Antecessor" ultimately derives from a combination of "cedere" and the Latin prefix ante-, meaning "before." "Predecessor" traces back to a different Latin prefix, prae-, which also means "before," combined with "decessor," a "cedere" descendant meaning "retiring governor." Cedere" has many other descendants in English, including "decease," "necessary," and "succeed." Descendants of both ante- and cedere include "antecedent," "ancestor," and the verb "antecede," a synonym of "precede."

Examples of antecessor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The physical features of H. antecessor have left anthropologists puzzling over its relationships with other early humans. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, 1 Apr. 2020 The EVAs are both primal antecessors and evolved descendants of humans; occasionally, the two beings are one and the same. Maya Phillips, The New Yorker, 21 June 2019 In addition to marks showing flesh was stripped from the bone, evidence suggests the Gran Dolina residents—an ancient human relative called Homo antecessor—ate their victims’ brains. Kevin Webb, National Geographic, 6 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antecessor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of antecessor

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for antecessor

Middle English antecessour, from Latin antecessor — more at ancestor

Learn More About antecessor

Time Traveler for antecessor

Time Traveler

The first known use of antecessor was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About antecessor

Dictionary Entries Near antecessor

antecedental

antecessor

antechamber

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for antecessor

Cite this Entry

“Antecessor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/antecessor. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on antecessor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for antecessor

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!