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

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Other Words from prerequisite

prerequisite adjective

Did You Know?

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
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Recent Examples on the Web

While working on her nursing prerequisites, she was inspired to actually join the medical field early and work my way up while pursuing her degree. Tj Gibson, azcentral, "Phoenix college proves education is more than just hitting the books," 4 June 2019 Regarded as more of a curiosity coming into the season, Frazier took his play up a notch and fulfills all the athletic prerequisites to play in the NBA. Jeremy Woo,, "2018 NBA Draft: Melvin Frazier Scouting Report and Highlights," 15 June 2018 The largest Christian university, located in Lynchburg, Va., already allows students to have guns in their dorms and more than 3,000 students have completed free firearm safety courses offered through LUPD, a prerequisite to use the new range. Caleb Parke, Fox News, "Largest Christian university opens 'sophisticated' gun range for students," 28 Mar. 2018 Indeed, a passion for design would appear to be a prerequisite for the job. Tim Mckeough, ELLE Decor, "Design Insider: Jim Druckman," 4 Feb. 2011 Except for the fact, of course, that as the executive editor of, one of the prerequisites of the job was looking fashionable. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "How Having a Baby Ended My Fashion Obsession," 28 Aug. 2018 While over-the-top dressing is pretty much a prerequisite for attending Couture Week, this John Doe’s dramatic gown—made in a filmy material with puffy sleeves and a full, floor-length skirt—was just undeniably fun and next-level. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Who Was the Fabulous Mystery Man at Valentino’s Couture Show?," 24 Jan. 2019 There are no prerequisites for feeling whole and complete. SELF, "I'm a Personal Trainer but Here's Why You'll Never Hear Me Say 'New Year, New You'," 10 Jan. 2019 The Ravens and Titans, both 8-6 with the two best scoring defenses in the league, have played their ways into crowded playoff pictures without the dynamic offenses that seemed like prerequisites to make a run in this day and age. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The NFL Soap Opera Is Ready for Its Twist Ending," 19 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of prerequisite

circa 1631, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for prerequisite

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prerequisite

The first known use of prerequisite was circa 1631

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More Definitions for prerequisite



English Language Learners Definition of prerequisite

: something that you officially must have or do before you can have or do something else


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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Comments on prerequisite

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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