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 If a registrant moves to a different county during the 29-day period preceding the election, the voter remains qualified in the former county and must vote in the former county. Dianna M. Náñez, azcentral, "Arizona may have violated the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of people. Will the state fix problems by Election Day?," 14 Jan. 2020 The attack hospitalized the elderly man, but police did not specify the severity of the injuries or what preceded the incident. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Police ask for help finding two suspects who attacked an elderly man on a bus in West Allis," 14 Jan. 2020 The Packers had three touchdown drives of 75 yards apiece over the first three quarters, plus a 60-yard march preceded by a missed 50-yard field goal try from Jason Myers. oregonlive, "NFL Playoffs 2020: Seattle Seahawks’ rally falls short in loss to the Green Bay Packers in a Divisional Round playoff," 12 Jan. 2020 In the hours preceding an open house, Realtors can often be found around the neighborhood, setting up sandwhich boards broadcasting the address and invitation., "Realtors: Times change, importance of open houses doesn’t," 6 Jan. 2020 Letter and his team argued that although their efforts to obtain McGahn's testimony and the grand jury material preceded the impeachment of President Trump, impeachment is the impetus for continuing the legal battle. Robert Legare, CBS News, "House lawyers and Justice Department continue feud over McGahn testimony and Mueller material," 3 Jan. 2020 Lee-Jackson Day, established more than 100 years ago, is observed annually on the Friday preceding the third Monday in January. USA TODAY, "Surfing Santas, endangered red wolves, who owns the letter ‘O’?: News from around our 50 states," 28 Dec. 2019 Many elements of the election remain uncertain, from the impact of the impeachment trial that is all but certain to precede the head-t0-head presidential battle, to who will be the Democratic nominee to challenge President Donald Trump. The Economist, "Buckle up for America’s ugly election and faltering economy," 25 Dec. 2019 Last month, The Good Liar opened to $5.6 million, preceded by $3.5 million for fellow fall release Motherless Brooklyn and $2.7 million for The Goldfinch. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box Office Bust: Clint Eastwood's 'Richard Jewell' Derailed by Apathy, Not Controversy," 16 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for precede

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

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Statistics for precede

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Precede.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 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

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).


to insert between existing elements

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