pre·​req·​ui·​site | \ (ˌ)prē-ˈre-kwə-zət How to pronounce prerequisite (audio) \

Definition of prerequisite

: something that is necessary to an end or to the carrying out of a function

Other Words from prerequisite

prerequisite adjective

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Prerequisite is partly based on requirere, the Latin verb meaning "to need or require". So a prerequisite can be anything that must be accomplished or acquired before something else can be done. Possessing a valid credit card is a prerequisite for renting a car. A physical exam may be a prerequisite for receiving a life-insurance policy. And successful completion of an introductory course is often a prerequisite for enrolling in a higher-level course.

Examples of prerequisite in a Sentence

Future greatness does not always inspire popularity. Coolness, in the high-school or hip sense of the word, is not a prerequisite for leadership. — Evan Thomas, Newsweek, 2 Aug. 2004 … opposition to the totalitarian threat was the prerequisite for membership in American liberalism because communism was the defining moral challenge of the age. — Peter Beinart, New Republic, 13 Dec. 2004 But old-school Andy lacks a skill that may soon be a prerequisite for 21st-century detective work: knowing how to glean secrets from a suspect's hard drive. — Daniel McGinn, Newsweek, 23 Sept. 2002
Recent Examples on the Web Not the best prerequisite to entice a top coach to rescue Hertha and prevent the first relegation since the 2009/10 season. Manuel Veth, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 Similarly, Brands suggests that a climate of fear and paranoia was a prerequisite to keeping the public engaged in the Cold War struggle. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 10 Mar. 2022 This is the prerequisite to seizing the ultra luxury homes many hold in Manhattan. Kara Scannell And Jessica Schneider, CNN, 5 Mar. 2022 Another prerequisite, according to the RTR guide, was being able to complete a large number of double- and single-leg hops that mimic the landing and pushing off of running. Sarah Barker, Outside Online, 9 Mar. 2021 He was killed in 2018 by Saudi agents inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, and the transfer of the trial was most likely a prerequisite for Mr. Erdogan’s visit. Ben Hubbard, New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Isn’t some measure of risk a prerequisite for innovation, differentiation and distinction? Seth Matlins, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Enabling the memory integrity feature won't be a prerequisite for installing or upgrading Windows 11 on these PCs, and the warning prompt is dismissible. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 13 Apr. 2022 Conventional wisdom may suggest that openness is a prerequisite for historic wrongs to be acknowledged. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, 21 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of prerequisite

circa 1631, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for prerequisite

Time Traveler

The first known use of prerequisite was circa 1631

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Prerequisite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for prerequisite


pre·​req·​ui·​site | \ prē-ˈre-kwə-zət How to pronounce prerequisite (audio) \

Kids Definition of prerequisite

: something that is needed beforehand : requirement Citizenship is a prerequisite for voting.


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