pre·cede | \pri-ˈsēd \
preceded; preceding

Definition of precede 

transitive verb

1 : to surpass in rank, dignity, or importance

2 : to be, go, or come ahead or in front of

3 : to be earlier than

4 : to cause to be preceded : preface

intransitive verb

: to go or come before

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Synonyms & Antonyms for precede


antecede, antedate, forego, predate, preexist


follow, postdate, succeed

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Examples of precede in a Sentence

Minutes before 10:30 p.m. in China, the stadium pulsed with the emotions that always precede a 100-meter final. — Tim Layden, Sports Illustrated, 25 Aug. 2008 But research has now shown that so-called responses to rhythm actually precede the external beat. We anticipate the beat … — Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia, 2007 The print media ape the manners of television, and on television form precedes content, emotion replaces thought, legend substitutes for history, fiction dictates to fact. — Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's, September 1998 Riots preceded the civil war. She preceded him into the room. The country became more conservative in the years that preceded his election. The new mayor is very different from the person who preceded her in office. The meeting was preceded by a brief welcoming speech. The chairman preceded the meeting with a brief welcoming speech.
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Recent Examples on the Web

He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Peggy, in December. Michelle L. Quinn, Post-Tribune, "Friends, family remember former Griffith fire chief," 9 July 2018 Minaya preceded Alderson as Mets general manager, and Ricciardi was GM of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001-09. Mike Fitzpatrick, Houston Chronicle, "Mets GM Sandy Alderson steps down after cancer returns," 27 June 2018 Questions about its viability and its future preceded this year’s BET Experience — especially as newer, more focused events catered toward R&B/hip-hop audiences arrive in Southern California. Gerrick D. Kennedy,, "Perspective: Chaos ruled at this weekend's BET fest — but the fans still flocked to celebrity," 26 June 2018 Minaya preceded Alderson as Mets general manager, and Ricciardi was GM of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001-09. Mike Fitzpatrick, The Seattle Times, "Mets GM Sandy Alderson steps down after cancer returns," 26 June 2018 The Myanmar government blames ARSA for attacks on border-police posts that preceded last year’s stepped-up violence against the Rohingya. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Fear of Islam Leads India to Snub Refugees," 31 May 2018 The mass shooting at a Texas church last year preceded a spike in handgun license applications in that county. Fox News, "Texas church massacre preceded spike in gun permit requests," 13 May 2018 No opening date has been announced, but about five weeks of test runs preceded the opening of the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach stations. Wayne K. Roustan,, "Brightline tweaks train schedule for Miami addition," 26 Apr. 2018 The Bulldogs, who preceded the March 9-10 Las Vegas Invitational with a March 6 home win against Grossmont, lost their first four matches in the Las Vegas tournament before winning twice in the consolation bracket. Joe Naiman, Ramona Sentinel, "Boys volleyball starts second half of season Thursday at home," 9 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of precede

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for precede

Middle English, from Middle French preceder, from Latin praecedere, from prae- pre- + cedere to go

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Statistics for precede

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for precede

The first known use of precede was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for precede



English Language Learners Definition of precede

: to happen, go, or come before (something or someone)

: to do or say something before (something)


pre·cede | \pri-ˈsēd \
preceded; preceding

Kids Definition of precede

: to be or go before in importance, position, or time Many failures preceded her success.

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Comments on precede

What made you want to look up precede? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not any or not one

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