verb pre·cede \ pri-ˈsēd \
Updated on: 15 Mar 2018

Definition of precede

preceded; preceding
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
: to go or come before

Examples of precede in a Sentence

  1. Minutes before 10:30 p.m. in China, the stadium pulsed with the emotions that always precede a 100-meter final. —Tim LaydenSports Illustrated25 Aug. 2008
  2. But research has now shown that so-called responses to rhythm actually precede the external beat. We anticipate the beat … —Oliver SacksMusicophilia2007
  3. 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. LaphamHarper'sSeptember 1998
  4. Riots preceded the civil war.

  5. She preceded him into the room.

  6. The country became more conservative in the years that preceded his election.

  7. The new mayor is very different from the person who preceded her in office.

  8. The meeting was preceded by a brief welcoming speech.

  9. The chairman preceded the meeting with a brief welcoming speech.

Recent Examples of precede from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of precede

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

precede Synonyms

PRECEDE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of precede for English Language Learners

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

  • : to do or say something before (something)

PRECEDE Defined for Kids


verb pre·cede \ pri-ˈsēd \

Definition of precede for Students

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

Word Root of precede

The Latin word cedere, meaning “to go,” gives us the root ced. Words from the Latin cedere have something to do with going. To precede is to go before. To exceed is to go beyond a limit. To proceed is to go forward. To recede is to go back or away.

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mournful or dismal

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