What does antecedent mean?

Definitions for antecedent
ˌæn təˈsid ntan·tecedent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.

  2. antecedentnoun

    An ancestor.

  3. antecedentnoun

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

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Antecedentadjective

    Etymology: antecedens, Lat.

    To assert, that God looked upon Adam’s fall as a sin, and punished it, when, without any antecedent sin of his, it was impossible for him not to fall, seems a thing that highly reproaches essential equity and goodness. South.

    No one is so hardy as to say, God is in his debt; that he owed him a nobler being: for existence must be antecedent to merit. Jeremy Collier, of Envy.

    Did the blood first exist, antecedent to the formation of the heart? But that is to set the effect before the cause. Richard Bentley.

  2. Antecedentnoun

    Etymology: antecedens, Lat.

    A duty of so mighty an influence, that it is indeed the necessary antecedent, if not also the direct cause of a sinner’s return to God. South.

    Conditional or hypothetical propositions are those whose parts are united by the conditional particle if; as, if the sun be fixed, the earth must move: if there be no fire, there will be no smoke. The first part of these propositions, or that wherein the condition is contained, is called the antecedent, the other is called the consequent. Isaac Watts, Logick.


  1. Antecedent

    An antecedent is a preceding event, condition, or thing.


  1. antecedent

    An antecedent is a word, phrase, clause, or sentence to which another word (especially a following relative pronoun) refers back to. In grammar, the antecedent is the noun or noun phrase that a pronoun refers to. In logic, it's the clause in a conditional statement that immediately precedes 'then'. In general context, it can also refer to a thing or event that existed before or logically precedes another.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Antecedentadjective

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

  2. Antecedentadjective

    presumptive; as, an antecedent improbability

  3. Antecedentnoun

    that which goes before in time; that which precedes

  4. Antecedentnoun

    one who precedes or goes in front

  5. Antecedentnoun

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

  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

  7. Antecedentnoun

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

  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

  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

  10. 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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How to say antecedent in sign language?


  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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"antecedent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/antecedent>.

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    express strong disapproval of
    A conceal
    B condemn
    C demolish
    D depend

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