Synonyms & Antonyms of anterior

1 being at or in the forward part or surface of something
  • the anterior chamber of the eye is bounded in front by the cornea

Synonyms for anterior

Words Related to anterior

Near Antonyms for anterior

Antonyms for anterior

2 going before another in time or order
  • fossils from an anterior geologic age

Synonyms for anterior

Words Related to anterior

Near Antonyms for anterior

Antonyms for anterior

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About anterior

How is the word anterior distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of anterior are antecedent, foregoing, former, preceding, previous, and prior. While all these words mean "being before," anterior applies to position before or ahead of usually in space, sometimes in time or order.

the anterior lobe of the brain

When might antecedent be a better fit than anterior?

The synonyms antecedent and anterior are sometimes interchangeable, but antecedent applies to order in time and may suggest a causal relation.

conditions antecedent to the revolution

When could foregoing be used to replace anterior?

The words foregoing and anterior are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, foregoing applies chiefly to statements.

the foregoing remarks

When can former be used instead of anterior?

The meanings of former and anterior largely overlap; however, former implies always a definite comparison or contrast with something that is latter.

the former name of the company

In what contexts can preceding take the place of anterior?

While in some cases nearly identical to anterior, preceding usually implies being immediately before in time or in place.

the preceding sentence

How do previous and prior relate to one another, in the sense of anterior?

Both previous and prior imply existing or occurring earlier, but prior often adds an implication of greater importance.

a child from a previous marriage

a prior obligation

Learn More About anterior

Time Traveler for anterior

Time Traveler

The first known use of anterior was in 1541

See more words from the same year

Thesaurus Entries Near anterior




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Anterior.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on anterior

Nglish: Translation of anterior for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anterior for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!