pre·​ced·​ing | \pri-ˈsē-diŋ \

Definition of preceding 

: existing, coming, or occurring immediately before in time or place the preceding day preceding paragraphs

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Choose the Right Synonym for preceding

preceding, antecedent, foregoing, previous, prior, former, anterior mean being before. preceding usually implies being immediately before in time or in place. the preceding sentence antecedent applies to order in time and may suggest a causal relation. conditions antecedent to the revolution foregoing applies chiefly to statements. the foregoing remarks previous and prior imply existing or occurring earlier, but prior often adds an implication of greater importance. a child from a previous marriage a prior obligation former implies always a definite comparison or contrast with something that is latter. the former name of the company anterior applies to position before or ahead of usually in space, sometimes in time or order. the anterior lobe of the brain

Examples of preceding in a Sentence

The once refulgent reign of Queen Elizabeth had come to a stale and frustrated end in the preceding year, and a new monarch had been imported from Scotland … — Christopher Hitchens, New York Times Book Review, 18 May 2003 The building code, layered with attempts to correct the ignorance of preceding generations, is a set of rules for coping with some of the most unruly moods of the land: mudslides, wildfires, steep slopes, a dearth of water and a surfeit of seismic activity. — Timothy Egan, New York Times, 20 Feb. 1994 I have had a fever of about three weeks during the last and preceding month, from which I am entirely recovered except as to strength. — Thomas Jefferson, letter, 4 Sept. 1823 The preceding week he had been on vacation. had not eaten since the preceding day
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Recent Examples on the Web

United Nations officials confirmed that there had been shelling in eastern Ghouta on Tuesday morning, and said there were also reports of shelling toward Damascus during the preceding night, before the cease-fire was to begin. Nada Homsi And Richard PÉrez-peÑa, New York Times, "‘Humanitarian Pause’ in Syria: More Fighting, More Death," 27 Feb. 2018 This year's crop of nominees are all (mostly) great, and the many preceding award shows—from the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the BAFTAs, and the various critics associations—have made this year's winners pretty obvious already. Tyler Coates, Esquire, "If Things Go Right at the Oscars, Get Out Will Win Best Picture," 27 Feb. 2018 Young and Crippen would blast off aboard one of the most powerful rocket systems ever developed without a single preceding test flight. William Harwood, CBS News, "John Young, legendary moonwalker and shuttle commander, dead at 87," 6 Jan. 2018 During Sulzberger's administration, the paper won 60 Pulitzer Prizes, doubling the number in all its preceding years. The Washington Post,, "A.G. Sulzberger will succeed father as publisher of New York Times," 14 Dec. 2017 The IRS won't demand money over the phone without a preceding letter, and won't insist on payment without informing taxpayers of the appeal process, according to officials. Irv Leavitt,, "Northbrook police: Scammer used White House address," 10 July 2017 In the preceding decade, classical labels had profited immensely by converting their back catalogs from LP to CD. William Robin, New York Times, "How a Somber Symphony Sold More Than a Million Records," 9 June 2017 That's nearly double from the preceding year, at $1,370,788 in 2014. Beau Evans,, "'What is N-Y-X?': State reps get a little confused by the Mardi Gras krewe," 30 May 2017 The seaside community had a total of nearly 1,600 official beach-closure days in the preceding decade. Joshua Emerson Smith,, "Tijuana's sewage fouls shoreline from Imperial Beach to Coronado at staggering rate every year," 27 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preceding.' 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 preceding

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for preceding

see precede

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Time Traveler for preceding

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

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More Definitions for preceding



English Language Learners Definition of preceding

: existing, happening, or coming before


pre·​ced·​ing | \pri-ˈsē-diŋ \

Kids Definition of preceding

: existing or happening before in time or place : previous the preceding week

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Comments on preceding

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a private place of worship

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