What does antecedent mean?

Definitions for antecedent
ˌæn təˈsid ntan·tecedent

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word antecedent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ancestor, ascendant, ascendent, antecedent, rootnoun

    someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)

  2. antecedentnoun

    a preceding occurrence or cause or event

  3. antecedent, forerunnernoun

    anything that precedes something similar in time

    "phrenology was an antecedent of modern neuroscience"

  4. antecedentadjective

    the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is referred to by an anaphoric pronoun

  5. antecedentadjective

    preceding in time or order


  1. antecedentnoun

    Any thing that precedes another thing, especially the cause of the second thing.

    Etymology: From antecedent (French antécédent), from antecedens, from antecedere.

  2. antecedentnoun

    An ancestor.

    Etymology: From antecedent (French antécédent), from antecedens, from antecedere.

  3. antecedentnoun

    A word, phrase or clause referred to by a pronoun.

    Etymology: From antecedent (French antécédent), from antecedens, from antecedere.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Antecedentadjective

    going before in time; prior; anterior; preceding; as, an event antecedent to the Deluge; an antecedent cause

    Etymology: [Cf. F. antcdent.]

  2. Antecedentadjective

    presumptive; as, an antecedent improbability

    Etymology: [Cf. F. antcdent.]

  3. Antecedentnoun

    that which goes before in time; that which precedes

    Etymology: [Cf. F. antcdent.]

  4. Antecedentnoun

    one who precedes or goes in front

    Etymology: [Cf. F. antcdent.]

  5. Antecedentnoun

    the earlier events of one's life; previous principles, conduct, course, history

    Etymology: [Cf. F. antcdent.]

  6. Antecedentnoun

    the noun to which a relative refers; as, in the sentence "Solomon was the prince who built the temple," prince is the antecedent of who

    Etymology: [Cf. F. antcdent.]

  7. Antecedentnoun

    the first or conditional part of a hypothetical proposition; as, If the earth is fixed, the sun must move

    Etymology: [Cf. F. antcdent.]

  8. Antecedentnoun

    the first of the two propositions which constitute an enthymeme or contracted syllogism; as, Every man is mortal; therefore the king must die

    Etymology: [Cf. F. antcdent.]

  9. Antecedentnoun

    the first of the two terms of a ratio; the first or third of the four terms of a proportion. In the ratio a:b, a is the antecedent, and b the consequent

    Etymology: [Cf. F. antcdent.]


  1. Antecedent

    An antecedent is the first half of a hypothetical proposition. Examples: ⁕If P, then Q. This is a nonlogical formulation of a hypothetical proposition. In this case, the antecedent is P, and the consequent is Q. In an implication, if implies then is called the antecedent and is called the consequent. ⁕If X is a man, then X is mortal. "X is a man" is the antecedent for this proposition. ⁕If men have walked on the moon, then I am the king of France. Here, "men have walked on the moon" is the antecedent.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Antecedent

    an-te-sēd′ent, adj. going before in time: prior.—n. that which precedes in time: (gram.) the noun or pronoun to which a relative pronoun refers: (logic) a statement or proposition from which another is logically deduced: (math.) the antecedent of a ratio is the first of two terms which compose the ratio—the first and third in a series of four proportionals: (pl.) previous principles, conduct, history, &c.—n. Anteced′ence.—adv. Anteced′ently. [L. antecedent-em; ante, before, cedĕre, cessum, to go.]

Matched Categories

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of antecedent in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of antecedent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of antecedent in a Sentence

  1. John Goodwin:

    Freedom of conscience is a natural right, both antecedent and superior to all human laws and institutions whatever; a right which laws never gave and a right which laws can never take away.

  2. Giuseppe Mazzini:

    The republic, as I at least understand it, means association, of which liberty is only an element, a necessary antecedent. It means association, a new philosophy of life, a divine Ideal that shall move the world, the only means of regeneration vouchsafed to the human race.

  3. Ed Whelan:

    Complaints that Court ruled on Texas law in ‘shadow docket’ can't be taken seriously, as it's abortion providers who pressed for immediate action (after waiting 2-1/2 months to file motion for preliminary injunction), abortion providers failed to meet their burden on the ‘complex and novel antecedent procedural questions’ that their *pre-enforcement* challenge presents.

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    a confused multitude of things
    • A. pluck
    • B. arborolatry
    • C. sheath
    • D. muddle

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