Definition of prerequisite
: something that is necessary to an end or to the carrying out of a function
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
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.
First Known Use of prerequisite
PREREQUISITE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prerequisite for English Language Learners
: something that you officially must have or do before you can have or do something else
PREREQUISITE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up prerequisite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).