What does precedent mean?

Definitions for precedent
ˈprɛs ɪ dənt; prɪˈsid nt, ˈprɛs ɪ dəntprece·dent

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. precedent, case in point(noun)

    an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a later time

  2. case law, precedent, common law(noun)

    (civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial decisions

  3. common law, case law, precedent(noun)

    a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents rather than statutory laws

    "common law originated in the unwritten laws of England and was later applied in the United States"

  4. precedent(adj)

    a subject mentioned earlier (preceding in time)

  5. precedent(adj)

    preceding in time, order, or significance


  1. precedent(Noun)

    An act in the past which may be used as an example to help decide the outcome of similar instances in the future.

  2. precedent(Noun)

    A decided case which is cited or used as an example to justify a judgment in a subsequent case.

  3. precedent(Noun)

    The aforementioned (thing).

  4. precedent(Noun)

    The previous version.

  5. precedent(Verb)

    To provide precedents for.

  6. precedent(Verb)

    To be a precedent for.

  7. precedent(Adjective)

    Happening or taking place earlier in time; previous or preceding.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Precedent(adj)

    going before; anterior; preceding; antecedent; as, precedent services

  2. Precedent(noun)

    something done or said that may serve as an example to authorize a subsequent act of the same kind; an authoritative example

  3. Precedent(noun)

    a preceding circumstance or condition; an antecedent; hence, a prognostic; a token; a sign

  4. Precedent(noun)

    a rough draught of a writing which precedes a finished copy

  5. Precedent(noun)

    a judicial decision which serves as a rule for future determinations in similar or analogous cases; an authority to be followed in courts of justice; forms of proceeding to be followed in similar cases

  6. Origin: [L. praecedens, -entis, p. pr. of praecedere: cf. F. prcdent. See Precede.]


  1. Precedent

    In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a principle or rule established in a previous legal case that is either binding on or persuasive for a court or other tribunal when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts. The general principle in common law legal systems is that similar cases should be decided so as to give similar and predictable outcomes, and the principle of precedent is the mechanism by which that goal is attained. Black's Law Dictionary defines "precedent" as a "rule of law established for the first time by a court for a particular type of case and thereafter referred to in deciding similar cases." Common law precedent is a third kind of law, on equal footing with statutory law, and regulatory law. Stare decisis is a legal principle by which judges are obliged to respect the precedent established by prior decisions. The words originate from the phrasing of the principle in the Latin maxim Stare decisis et non quieta movere: "to stand by decisions and not disturb the undisturbed." In a legal context, this is understood to mean that courts should generally abide by precedent and not disturb settled matters.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. precedent

    Any act which can be interpreted into an example for future times, is called a precedent. Persons in high office are extremely scrupulous with respect to precedents, especially in military matters.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'precedent' in Nouns Frequency: #2735

How to pronounce precedent?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say precedent in sign language?

  1. precedent


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of precedent in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of precedent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of precedent in a Sentence

  1. Brett Kavanaugh:

    As I’ve said before, [Garland is] a great judge – a great chief judge – and he’s very careful and very hardworking, and we work well together and try to read the statute as written, read the precedent as written, he’s a judge – like I try to be as well – a judge who’s not trying to impose any personal preferences onto the decision but take the law as written, and that’s what I’ve tried to do in those cases and that probably explains some of that.

  2. Leslie Bocskor:

    I don't believe there will be any precedent in the United States that can compare to it except for maybe the Gold Rush.

  3. Michael Bromwich:

    The central point is that there is no precedent for this Committee to bring in outside counsel for the sole purpose of shielding the members of Senate Judiciary from performing their responsibility to question witnesses.

  4. Mark Schneider:

    Now that they've excluded them, they should be prosecuted to set a clear precedent that it's unacceptable to engage in electoral violence.

  5. Rick Horrow:

    It is precedent setting and it breaks every financial model known to man, the pay-per-view is $ 100, the tickets are almost unaffordable for even the millionaire fight fan.

Images & Illustrations of precedent

  1. precedentprecedentprecedentprecedentprecedent

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for precedent

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"precedent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 28 Mar. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/precedent>.

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