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

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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

Factor in the more potent Turing architecture in the new GPU, along with significantly higher boost clock speeds, and the GTX 1650 should pummel its predecessors despite sticking to the same 75W TDP. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1650 is a $150 graphics card built to plug-and-play in any PC," 23 Apr. 2019 After being amnestied under Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, Trillanes successfully petitioned two Philippine courts to dismiss rebellion and coup cases against him, allowing him to later run for public office. Jim Gomez, Fox News, "Duterte: Defiant senator won't be arrested without warrant," 7 Sep. 2018 But Kenney kept Dubow, who had the same job under his predecessor, Michael Nutter. Phillyclout Team,, "Who pulled strings to get killer cop Ryan Pownall a patronage job? | Clout," 22 June 2018 Vignarajah, 41, is a former Maryland deputy attorney general who also worked in the state’s attorney’s office under Mosby’s predecessor, Gregg Bernstein. Tim Prudente,, "Baltimore state's attorney race heats up morning radio during second debate," 13 June 2018 The complaint is end-result of a 31 months investigation that began under Berman's predecessor Preet Bharara — and which frequently cites the reporting of Greg B. Smith of the New York Daily News. NBC News, "New York City housing authority lied about squalid conditions for years, feds say," 11 June 2018 Numbers under his Democratic predecessor weren't available. CBS News, "Supreme Court to decide whether not voting can jeopardize a voter's future," 8 June 2018 The reorganization will eliminate the Office of Innovation, started under Driver's predecessor Gregory Thornton. Diana Dombrowski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "MPS board passes budget that restores $11.6 million to classrooms, cuts central office," 29 May 2018 And even when the bugs are worked out, the Pegasus will see a very different environment than its predecessors. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Boeing’s other problem: Much-needed Air Force tanker keeps hitting snafus," 12 Apr. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for predecessor

Last Updated

20 May 2019

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Time Traveler for predecessor

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

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English Language Learners Definition of predecessor

: a person who had a job or position before someone else
: something that comes before something else


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

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Comments on predecessor

What made you want to look up predecessor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


using a distributed computer network

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