pre·​ex·​ist ˌprē-ig-ˈzist How to pronounce preexist (audio)
preexisted; preexisting; preexists

intransitive verb

: to exist earlier or before

Examples of preexist in a Sentence

an advanced Mesoamerican civilization whose apex and collapse preexisted the arrival of Europeans by hundreds of years
Recent Examples on the Web Along with producer Prince Paul, the hip-hop trio known as De La Soul pioneered a new sound comprising samples from other artists, weaving preexisting clips in and out to create innovative, original songs. Christian Schneider, National Review, 22 June 2023 The ordinance would add a ban on public consumption of drugs such as fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine to the city’s preexisting prohibition on public alcohol use. oregonlive, 22 June 2023 Authorities found out most of those who passed away were over 60 years old and had preexisting health conditions, which may have been exacerbated by the intense heat. Time, 18 June 2023 Those who died had already suffered from preexisting health conditions, Ballia’s chief medical officer, Jayant Kumar, told the AP. Sammy Westfall, Washington Post, 18 June 2023 By movie’s end, the preexisting DC continuity is restored and these figures fade back into multiverse hypotheticals … with one startling exception: George Clooney’s Batman is back, baby. Vulture, 16 June 2023 The Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility has been investigating the death of the child, Anadith Danay Reyes Álvarez, a Panamanian national, who had significant preexisting health conditions before she was apprehended with her family at the Texas border last month. Eileen Sullivan,, 15 June 2023 Sharing plans are not required to cover preexisting conditions or provide the minimum health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Markian Hawryluk, CBS News, 13 June 2023 In this role, Midori will work with young professional violinists, violists, cellists, pianists and members of preexisting chamber groups for immersive rehearsals and coachings with various teaching artists. Kayla Samoy, Chicago Tribune, 13 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'preexist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1599, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of preexist was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near preexist

Cite this Entry

“Preexist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


pre·​ex·​ist ˌprē-ig-ˈzist How to pronounce preexist (audio)
: to exist before something else
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