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 The best Mr Starmer’s predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, scored was -1%. The Economist, "Labour’s leader Keir Starmer needs to change the Labour Party," 27 June 2020 Her sacking also comes as Starmer has promised to root out anti-Semitism that was allowed to percolate in the party under the leadership of his far-left predecessor Jeremy Corbyn. Fox News, "UK Labour leader sacks former left-wing rival for sharing article with ‘anti-Semitic conspiracy theories’," 25 June 2020 Faklandia moved into the former 42 Ale House after agreeing to serve food as its predecessor did. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Faklandia brewpub now serving beer. Let the Dungeons & Dragons games begin.," 24 June 2020 Similar to his predecessor, Mr. DiSilvestro is expected to focus on managing costs in an effort to return the company to growth after several years of sales declines, said Stephanie Wissink, an analyst at Jefferies LLC. Kimberly Chin And Mark Maurer, WSJ, "Mattel Taps Ex-Campbell Soup Executive as New Finance Chief," 24 June 2020 Tokyo, the imperial capital that stands in Edo’s place, retains few physical traces of its predecessor. Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 23 June 2020 The result is less experimental but feels more illuminating, erring on the side of verbosity in contrast to the concision of its predecessor. Briana Younger,, "On The Album, Teyana Taylor reframes marriage and motherhood," 19 June 2020 Barnes’ first-year base salary ($850,000) was a significant increase over the $500,000 a year his predecessor Todd Stansbury earned in 2015. oregonlive, "Canzano: Oregon State is downsizing, but needs athletic director to play big," 4 June 2020 Bill de Blasio took office in 2014 after campaigning against NYPD abuses under his predecessor Michael Bloomberg, including the city’s infamous stop-and-frisk policy that largely singled out young black and Hispanic men. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Police Were a Mistake," 2 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for predecessor

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for predecessor

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Predecessor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for predecessor


How to pronounce predecessor (audio) How to pronounce predecessor (audio)

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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