su·​per·​sede | \ ˌsü-pər-ˈsēd How to pronounce supersede (audio) \
superseded; superseding

Definition of supersede

transitive verb

1a : to cause to be set aside
b : to force out of use as inferior
2 : to take the place or position of
3 : to displace in favor of another

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Other Words from supersede

superseder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for supersede

replace, displace, supplant, supersede mean to put out of a usual or proper place or into the place of another. replace implies a filling of a place once occupied by something lost, destroyed, or no longer usable or adequate. replaced the broken window displace implies an ousting or dislodging. war had displaced thousands supplant implies either a dispossessing or usurping of another's place, possessions, or privileges or an uprooting of something and its replacement with something else. was abruptly supplanted in her affections by another supersede implies replacing a person or thing that has become superannuated, obsolete, or otherwise inferior. the new edition supersedes all previous ones

Examples of supersede in a Sentence

Fortunately, the scientific enterprise has its own self-correcting mechanisms that eventually sort things out. Studies that are wrong will be superseded by better studies with different results. Studies that are right will be corroborated by other good studies. — Harriet Hall, Skeptic, 2007 The ancient human carriers of information and understanding—elders, priests, bards, teachers, and community members—are superseded by a more durable and efficient medium, the printed word. — M. Rex Miller, The Millennium Matrix, 2004 Upgrading America's too-old, too-slow telephone network, which took about a century to build, is a massive task. But if you believe predictions that the Internet will one day supersede the telephone as the world's primary means of communications, these companies will be road kill if they simply sit by the wayside. — Bethany McLean, Fortune, 6 Dec. 1999 This edition supersedes the previous one. Former stars were being superseded by younger actors.
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Recent Examples on the Web Note that several states have existing laws that regulate surprise billing, but many don’t prohibit surprise billing for emergency services; the federal law will cover these services as well and will supersede state laws. Sindhu Kutty, Forbes, "The No Surprises Act: How Healthcare Organizations Can Improve The Transition For Patients," 19 Apr. 2021 Personal beliefs, religious urges, or wishes of fundamentalist preachers do not supersede Supreme Court rulings. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Do some real research | Access to resources | It's blatant hypocrisy," 17 Apr. 2021 And once law, state legislation will supersede federal guidance on the matter. Washington Post, "Your employer can ask whether you’ve received the coronavirus vaccine — and even require it," 6 Mar. 2021 Work shouldn’t supersede our care for our bodies and the respect of others’ bodies around us. Marina Gomberg, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Marina Gomberg: The pandemic is the worst, but these reactions to it are total keepers," 26 Feb. 2021 Jacksonville still has until July 15 to work out a long-term contract with Robinson that would supersede the franchise-tag deal. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Cam Robinson signs franchise-tag tender with Jacksonville Jaguars," 10 Apr. 2021 Such allowances aren’t ironclad guarantees because more stringent local rules can supersede the league’s guidelines. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Clippers hit the road, with strict NBA protocols sure to be followed," 31 Dec. 2020 If Baltimore announces additional restrictions that supersede the governor’s, the city liquor board will hurry to share them with license-holders, said deputy executive secretary Nicholas Blendy. Colin Campbell,, "What will dining look like as Maryland lifts COVID capacity limits? For some, confusion and concern remains.," 11 Mar. 2021 The group has also argued in court filings that hazard pay ordinances supersede collective bargaining agreements with grocery worker unions. Rachel Sandler, Forbes, "These Are The Cities Giving Grocery Workers ‘Hero Pay’ During The Pandemic," 24 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'supersede.' 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 supersede

1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for supersede

Middle English (Scots) superceden to defer, from Middle French superceder, from Latin supersedēre to sit on top, refrain from, from super- + sedēre to sit — more at sit

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Time Traveler for supersede

Time Traveler

The first known use of supersede was in 1654

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Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Supersede.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for supersede



English Language Learners Definition of supersede

: to take the place of (someone or something that is old, no longer useful, etc.) : to replace (someone or something)


su·​per·​sede | \ ˌsü-pər-ˈsēd How to pronounce supersede (audio) \
superseded; superseding

Kids Definition of supersede

: to take the place or position of These instructions supersede those you received earlier.


transitive verb
su·​per·​sede | \ ˌsü-pər-ˈsēd How to pronounce supersede (audio) \
superseded; superseding

Legal Definition of supersede

1 : to subject to postponement or suspension especially : to suspend the operation of (a judgment or order) by means of a supersedeas
2 : to take the place of in authority : preempt, override
3 : to take the place of and render null or ineffective

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