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


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

Richard was preceded in death by his Aunt Carol Yates of OH, grandparents Mr. & Ms. Earl D. Wilcox of OH and Mr. & Mrs. Hebert Nichols of TX., "Richard E. Nichols," 17 Sep. 2019 The Constitution does not even require a formal process of any kind to precede the drafting of articles. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Schrödinger’s Impeachment," 16 Sep. 2019 That buyout collapse was preceded by Singapore Exchange’s failed bid for Australia’s exchange. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s attempted buyout of London Stock Exchange is the most audacious in history," 11 Sep. 2019 Weston was preceded in death by her husband, a daughter, Virginia, and two sisters. The Enquirer,, "Alice Weston, Cincinnati arts patron and a visual artist, dead at 93," 11 Sep. 2019 James was preceded in death by his parents, Brother, Vito and Brother-in-law Tony Bianchi., "Deaths in South Florida: 9/9," 9 Sep. 2019 Besides her husband Robert (Bob) to whom she was married on January 21, 1950 for 69 years, Lorraine was preceded in death by her two brothers, Russell Smith and Jerome (Joe) Smith of Ripley., "Deaths in Central Florida: 9/9," 9 Sep. 2019 The larger quake Thursday was preceded by one with an initial 3.8 magnitude. USA TODAY, "Rare elephant calf, two-headed rattlesnake, another quake off Oregon: News from around our 50 states," 6 Sep. 2019 Every recession since 1950 has been preceded by an inverted yield curve, though the curve also inverted in 1965 and 1998 without a recession following in the next 18 to 24 months. Wired, "What Recession? Low Interest Rates Could Mean Tech-Fueled Growth," 4 Sep. 2019

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 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for precede

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with precede

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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