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

Definition of preexist

intransitive verb

: to exist earlier or before

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for preexist


antecede, antedate, forego, precede, predate


follow, postdate, succeed

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

At the time, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) could only fund work on a small number of preexisting human embryonic cell lines. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "California’s stem cell research fund dries up," 9 July 2019 There’s been a lot of concern about how conservatives and liberals consume their news from sources that merely confirm their preexisting beliefs. Johanna Blakley, Quartzy, "Four TV shows that both liberals and conservatives love—and one they both hate," 5 July 2019 During the 2003 heat wave in Europe, the elderly comprised the largest share of the casualties, many with preexisting health conditions. Umair Irfan, Vox, "105 degrees in France: why Europe is so vulnerable to extreme heat," 27 June 2019 Smart Downloads will draw the first 100 tracks from the preexisting Offline Mixtape, a playlist based on your listening history. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "YouTube Music Revamps Offline Listening With Automatic 'Smart Downloads'," 27 June 2019 Democrats say the speakers will touch on topics like the administration's track record on health care coverage for preexisting conditions, an issue that helped derail the GOP's attempt to repeal Obamacare in 2017. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "How the Democrats plan to counter Trump's reelection launch," 14 June 2019 Per Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn: Politicians and policymakers are well aware that preexisting protections poll extremely well with Americans. Washington Post, "The Health 202: The Trump administration has given Democrats a generous political gift," 14 June 2018 Questions about the nature of Durant’s preexisting injury and his potential for further damage arose immediately, buttressed by more fundamental questions of motivation, influence, and pressure. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "Kevin Durant’s Disastrous Comeback," 11 June 2019 In rare cases, excess caffeine intake has also been blamed for heart problems and even deaths, though mostly among people consuming highly concentrated energy drinks or those with preexisting cardiovascular conditions. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "No, You Probably Shouldn't Drink 25 Cups of Coffee a Day," 4 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of preexist

1599, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preexist

Statistics for preexist

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preexist

The first known use of preexist was in 1599

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on preexist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preexist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for preexist

Comments on preexist

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!