prerequisite

noun
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

The report specified only that the new schools should not have admissions based solely on academic prerequisites. New York Times, "The Plan to Scrap New York’s Gifted Programs: 5 Takeaways," 27 Aug. 2019 Dark nights of the soul are virtually a prerequisite for graduation, as are mornings of shame and epochs of self-doubt. Eric Zorn, chicagotribune.com, "Column: School hacks: The very best advice for students making a big leap this fall," 23 Aug. 2019 Understanding the pathologies of the past is surely a prerequisite for negotiating a route to the future. The Economist, "Church leaders in central and eastern Europe remain surprisingly loth to condemn their old adversary," 11 Aug. 2019 An accessible model of financing is an important prerequisite for the successful uptake of rooftop solar on a large scale. Tirthankar Mandal, Quartz India, "Cheaper loans could take solar power to more rooftops in India," 21 July 2019 Passage of the test would be a prerequisite to register or operate in the state. Odessa Lefrancois, The Mercury News, "Opinion: California’s trucks should be smog-checked like cars," 25 June 2019 Though va-va-voom vibes are practically a prerequisite for a night like tonight, Hadid's chop proves that, along with character, camp is also synonymous with cool. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Bella Hadid Reveals a Radical New Pixie Cut at the Met Gala," 7 May 2019 The state fair, a quadrennial presidential prerequisite stop, is a cultural obstacle course more fraught with pitfalls than opportunities to sway the narrow band of voters who will attend the state's kickoff caucuses in less than six months. Thomas Beaumont, Fortune, "Iowa State Fair: Where U.S. Politics and Fried Oreos Intersect," 8 Aug. 2019 These were essential prerequisites for understanding the collective behavior of electrons within superconductors. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "J. Robert Schrieffer, 88, Dies; Insight on Superconductivity Led to Nobel," 6 Aug. 2019

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

3 Sep 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

prerequisite

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prerequisite

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

prerequisite

noun
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

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