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

Washington’s agreement to cease diplomatic recognition of the government in Taiwan, which Beijing views as a breakaway province, was a precondition for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China in 1979. Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "U.S. Warships Transit Taiwan Strait in Defiance of China," 22 Oct. 2018 But a necessary precondition for Fujimori’s actions was a sense that the public would back him up. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Trump has eroded important democratic institutions. Will Democratic wins change that?," 8 Nov. 2018 The newspaper faced criticism for its role but later said the interview was done without preconditions, though with the cooperation of the authorities. Steven Lee Myers, New York Times, "How China Uses Forced Confessions as Propaganda Tool," 11 Apr. 2018 Trump had agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un based on South Korea's representations that North Korea would agree to the talks without preconditions. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "Trump suggests North Korea summit could be delayed while he huddles with South Korea," 22 May 2018 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

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

9 Feb 2019

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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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esteemed in general opinion

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