pre·​cede pri-ˈsēd How to pronounce precede (audio)
preceded; preceding

transitive verb

: to surpass in rank, dignity, or importance
: to be, go, or come ahead or in front of
: to be earlier than
: to cause to be preceded : preface

intransitive verb

: to go or come before

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Air Force has had just two head coaches — Fisher DeBerry preceded him from 1984-2006 — the past 40 years. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Sep. 2023 Like all party leaders who preceded him, McCarthy is tasked with leading a diverse, divided, yet ultimately United States. WIRED, 26 Sep. 2023 The company reported having nearly 96 million global streaming customers at the end of June, compared to 97.6 million in the preceding quarter. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2023 He was preceded in death by his brother, Dennis Esslinger. Lilly Price, Baltimore Sun, 18 Sep. 2023 Back in 2008, the return of the late-night hosts was preceded by an elaborate, somewhat choreographed dance between the hosts, the WGA, and the public. Josef Adalian, Vulture, 14 Sep. 2023 Predicting deterioration within timeframes of 3 to 24 hours, the model analyzed vital sign data from the preceding 24 hours. IEEE Spectrum, 14 Sep. 2023 The good news is that the current government, like the ones that preceded it, firmly believes in the tax rebate as a tool. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 13 Sep. 2023 In the preceding days, however, there were key moments in which Cavalcante nonetheless seemed to gain the upper hand, putting residents on edge. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, 13 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'precede.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near precede

Cite this Entry

“Precede.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


pre·​cede pri-ˈsēd How to pronounce precede (audio)
preceded; preceding
: to be, go, or come before (as in rank, position, or time)

More from Merriam-Webster on precede

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