pre·​ced·​ing | \ pri-ˈsē-diŋ How to pronounce preceding (audio) \

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 Lincecum had sneaked by Madison Bumgarner to advance in the preceding round, garnering 51% of the votes. John Shea,, "Day in the life with Giants’ Brandon Crawford: Sheltering in a busy place," 5 Apr. 2020 Annual inflation has been just 1.8% on average, down from about 3.5% during the preceding 20 years and 4.5% in the two decades before that. The Economist, "Free exchange Wage gains for low earners have helped sustain America’s economic expansion," 13 Feb. 2020 But the train whirred, caught and deposited us at the preceding station. Los Angeles Times, "Letters: Why get a Real ID if you have a passport? The hassle’s not worth it," 25 Jan. 2020 And/or the headings are continuations of the last sentence of the preceding section: But first, before Franz got back, THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG came round. Ben Lerner, The New Yorker, "Rosmarie Waldrop’s Novel of the In-Between," 30 Sep. 2019 The preceding fortnight offered a new round of action, though. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Winners and Losers in Albany’s Legislative Session," 23 June 2019 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

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

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Preceding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for preceding


How to pronounce preceding (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of preceding

: existing, happening, or coming before


pre·​ced·​ing | \ pri-ˈsē-diŋ How to pronounce preceding (audio) \

Kids Definition of preceding

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

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