Definition of antecessor
: one that goes before : predecessor
antecessor was our Word of the Day on 09/15/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of antecessor from the Web
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.
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.
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."
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