pre·​de·​ces·​sor | \ ˈpre-də-ˌse-sər How to pronounce predecessor (audio) , ˈprē-; ˌpre-də-ˈse-, ˌprē- How to pronounce predecessor (audio) \

Definition of predecessor

1 : one that precedes especially : a person who has previously occupied a position or office to which another has succeeded
2 archaic : ancestor

Examples of predecessor in a Sentence

Today's computers are much faster than their predecessors were. the once-ubiquitous typewriter was the predecessor of today's electronic keyboard
Recent Examples on the Web Yoon is expected to take a harder line on North Korea than his predecessor, Moon Jae-in. Noah Biermanstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2022 But the iPhone 14 Pro Max is slightly thicker than its predecessor. Chris Smith, BGR, 17 May 2022 The new installment is still in its early development days as casting begins for the new season that is said to be lengthier than its predecessor. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 16 May 2022 On the whole, the four-team playoff has been a boring enterprise that’s fairer but less compelling than its predecessor, the Bowl Championship Series. Blake Toppmeyer, USA TODAY, 13 May 2022 Under the hood, the new addition sports a similar 6.2-liter V-8 as Cadillac’s CT5-V Blackwing but a larger supercharger than its predecessor. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 11 May 2022 Although the general shape of an SUV is hard to alter too drastically, the '23 Range Rover Sport's new look is decidely more dapper than its predecessor. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 10 May 2022 It’s one of the rare pandemic-era sequels to earn more than its predecessor in theaters. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 8 May 2022 And given Trump's racist birtherism campaign against his predecessor, there's even less of a chance that Obama would have shown up to any such event. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 6 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'predecessor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of predecessor

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for predecessor

Middle English predecessour, from Anglo-French predecessur, from Late Latin praedecessor, from Latin prae- pre- + decessor retiring governor, from decedere to depart, retire from office — more at decease

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The first known use of predecessor was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Predecessor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for predecessor


pre·​de·​ces·​sor | \ ˈpre-də-ˌse-sər How to pronounce predecessor (audio) , ˈprē- \

Kids Definition of predecessor

: a person who held a job or position before someone else

More from Merriam-Webster on predecessor

Nglish: Translation of predecessor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of predecessor for Arabic Speakers


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