pre·​cede | \ pri-ˈsēd How to pronounce precede (audio) \
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



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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 All of the inconsistencies of cause-of-death reporting precede the COVID-19 pandemic, says Jay Wolfson, a professor of public health at the University of South Florida (USF). Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, "How COVID-19 Deaths Are Counted," 19 May 2020 On one end is a group such as Iraq’s Kataeb Hezbollah, whose hostilities with the U.S. preceded the U.S. strike on Soleimani. Marc Champion,, "How Iran Pursues Its Interests Via Proxies and Partners," 10 May 2020 Because his recipe gave rise to the most prominent Fluff product, Query is usually credited as its sole inventor, though the Curtises preceded him by four years. TheWeek, "The forgotten inventor of the fluffernutter sandwich," 2 May 2020 Considering how few specifics the NCAA provided, and how much more discussion and debate will precede a legislative vote, at least some of Satterfield’s concerns could prove to be premature. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's Scott Satterfield fears NCAA rules change could lead to 'wild, wild west'," 1 May 2020 The standard 2-series models are likely to precede the eventual top-dog M2 by several months. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "Next-Gen BMW 2-Series Coupe Leaks Out Early," 27 Apr. 2020 Similar conditions during the Great Recession preceded a decline in the birth rate, researchers found. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "The coronavirus and birth rates: What experts say about 'a once-in-a-century situation'," 22 Apr. 2020 Its interest in selling TrueX preceded the widespread business disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which could hurt its ability to get a deal done, the people familiar with the matter said. Sahil Patel, WSJ, "Disney Looks to Sell TrueX, Ad-Tech Firm It Absorbed From Fox," 17 Mar. 2020 Their conclusion is that Poe was not, in fact, showing signs consistent with suicidality in the years immediately preceding his death. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "New language analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s writing shows just how hard success can be," 3 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for precede

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for precede

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Precede.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce precede (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of precede

somewhat formal
: to happen, go, or come before (something or someone)
: to do or say something before (something)


pre·​cede | \ pri-ˈsēd How to pronounce precede (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on precede

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for precede

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with precede

Spanish Central: Translation of precede

Nglish: Translation of precede for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of precede for Arabic Speakers

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