pre·​con·​di·​tion | \ˌprē-kən-ˈdi-shən \

Definition of precondition 

(Entry 1 of 2)


preconditioned; preconditioning; preconditions

Definition of precondition (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to put in a proper or desired condition or frame of mind especially in preparation

Examples of precondition in a Sentence


They insist on a guarantee as a precondition of the deal.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The White House has demanded that Iran extract itself from Syria as an essential precondition to lifting sanctions that went into effect earlier this month. Fox News, "Iran says it signed deal to rebuild Syria's military," 27 Aug. 2018 Mr Trudeau cancelled a meeting with Mr Trump last month because the Americans made acceptance of a sunset clause a precondition. The Economist, "Donald Trump stomps on Canada’s economy," 14 June 2018 Our current president, however, (reportedly) accepted Kim Jong-un’s invitation on a whim, and without setting any significant preconditions. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "U.S. Scraps Military Exercise to Appease North Korea," 18 May 2018 But Trump has not called their release a precondition of his summit with Kim. David Nakamura,, "Warmbier’s parents sue North Korea for having ‘brutally tortured and murdered’ their son," 27 Apr. 2018 But Trump has not called their release a precondition of his summit with Kim. David Nakamura,, "Otto Warmbier's parents sue North Korea for having 'brutally tortured and murdered' their son," 26 Apr. 2018 Her clients are all entrepreneurs; at the prices that art is currently commanding, this is simply a precondition. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "Xin Li of Christie's: The Most Valuable Speed-Dial in the Art World," 15 May 2014 But Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday phoned to tell the Canadian prime minister that the precondition of a deal was a sunset clause, meaning the pact would automatically expire unless the three countries voted to continue it. New York Times, "White House to Impose Metal Tariffs on Key U.S. Allies, Risking Retaliation," 31 May 2018 The precondition for this Medicaid machination is ObamaCare. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Why CVS Loves ObamaCare," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

An InControl Remote app allowed monitoring and interaction from a smartphone (or smart watch), including remote start/climate preconditioning, lock/unlock, vehicle location on a map or by beep/flash, and journey tracking. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Range Rover rolls out new Velar model for 2018 | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 7 Dec. 2017

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


1825, in the meaning defined above


1904, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for precondition

The first known use of precondition was in 1825

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English Language Learners Definition of precondition

: something that must exist or happen before something else can exist or happen

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Comments on precondition

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by force of circumstances

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