pre·​ex·​ist·​ing ˌprē-ig-ˈzi-stiŋ How to pronounce preexisting (audio)
: existing at an earlier time
a preexisting medical condition

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The building itself, which was built on a preexisting 13th-century structure, has a courtyard with stately arcades. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 18 Apr. 2023 Deepfake videos could exploit modern societies split by partisanship into echo chambers where information—authentic or not—tends to reinforce preexisting beliefs. IEEE Spectrum, 14 Mar. 2023 The Left’s impulse to reduce disturbed attackers to categories and force them awkwardly into a preexisting ideological framework insults their victims. Noah Rothman, National Review, 29 Mar. 2023 For those who have used the drugs to deal with smaller amounts of weight and no preexisting conditions, there are many unanswered questions. Jamie Rosen, Town & Country, 2 Mar. 2023 Heart surgery and heart attacks can also prompt the condition, as well as preexisting medical issues, injuries, and medications. Eleanor Pringle, Fortune, 6 Feb. 2023 Olson and Salem began with a preexisting AI model that had already been trained on scientific documents written by humans. Hiawatha Bray,, 11 Dec. 2022 Smith conceptualized a different layout, dividing the preexisting primary bedroom into two smaller bedrooms and incorporating a narrow hallway into what became the couple’s bedroom. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2022 Others provided preexisting annual reports or spreadsheets of case data that answered all or some of the questions. USA Today, 16 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'preexisting.' 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 above

Time Traveler
The first known use of preexisting was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near preexisting

Cite this Entry

“Preexisting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition


pre·​ex·​ist·​ing ˌprē-ig-ˈzi-stiŋ How to pronounce preexisting (audio)
variants or pre-existing
: existing or present earlier or before a certain point of time
In 1990, over 60 percent of group health insurance plans contained exclusions of coverage for preexisting conditions, signifying the denial of benefits for any illness present at the time the insurance is obtained.Thomas Bodenheimer, in The New England Journal of Medicine

More from Merriam-Webster on preexisting

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