Definition of antecessor
: one that goes before : predecessor
antecessor was our Word of the Day on 09/15/2010. Hear the podcast!
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."
Origin and Etymology of antecessor
Middle English antecessour, from Latin antecessor — more at ancestor
First Known Use: 14th century
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