antecedent

An antecedent is a thing that comes before something else. You might think rap music has no historical antecedent, but earlier forms of African American spoken verse go back for centuries.

In logic, mathematics, and grammar, the word antecedent (from Latin ante-, "before" + cedere, "to yield") has the meaning "the first part of a statement." More generally, it means "something that came before, and perhaps caused, something else." The word is also an adjective: a lawyer or judge might talk about the "antecedent events" leading up to someone committing a crime.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: antecedent

1
nadj
a preceding occurrence or cause or event
preceding in time or order
2
n
the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is referred to by an anaphoric pronoun
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: antecedent
1

n a preceding occurrence or cause or event

Type of:
cause
events that provide the generative force that is the origin of something

n anything that precedes something similar in time

“phrenology was an antecedent of modern neuroscience”
Synonyms:
forerunner
Type of:
temporal relation
a relation involving time

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

Synonyms:
ancestor, ascendant, ascendent, root
Antonyms:
descendant, descendent
a person considered as descended from some ancestor or race
Examples:
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Abraham
the first of the Old Testament patriarchs and the father of Isaac; according to Genesis, God promised to give Abraham's family (the Hebrews) the land of Canaan (the Promised Land); God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son
Benjamin
(Old Testament) the youngest and best-loved son of Jacob and Rachel and one of the twelve forebears of the tribes of Israel
Isaac
(Old Testament) the second patriarch; son of Abraham and Sarah who was offered by Abraham as a sacrifice to God; father of Jacob and Esau
Ishmael
(Old Testament) the son of Abraham who was cast out after the birth of Isaac; considered the forebear of 12 Arabian tribes
Issachar
(Old Testament) a son of Jacob and a forebear of one of the tribes of Israel
Joseph
(Old Testament) the 11th son of Jacob and one of the 12 patriarchs of Israel; Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors, which made his brothers jealous and they sold him into slavery in Egypt
Judah
(Old Testament) the fourth son of Jacob who was forebear of one of the tribes of Israel; one of his descendants was to be the Messiah
Methuselah
(Old Testament) a patriarch (grandfather of Noah) who is said to have lived 969 years
Noah
the Hebrew patriarch who saved himself and his family and the animals by building an ark in which they survived 40 days and 40 nights of rain; the story of Noah and the flood is told in the Book of Genesis
Reuben
(Old Testment) a son of Jacob and forefather of one of the tribes of Israel
Blessed Virgin
the mother of Jesus; Christians refer to her as the Virgin Mary; she is especially honored by Roman Catholics
Naomi
the mother-in-law of Ruth whose story is told in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament
Types:
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ancestress
a woman ancestor
forbear, forebear
a person from whom you are descended
father, forefather, sire
the founder of a family
foremother
a woman ancestor
primogenitor, progenitor
an ancestor in the direct line
genitor
a natural father or mother
grandparent
a parent of your father or mother
great grandparent
a parent of your grandparent
patriarch
any of the early biblical characters regarded as fathers of the human race
Type of:
relation, relative
a person related by blood or marriage

adj preceding in time or order

Synonyms
anterior, prior
earlier in time
anticipatory, prevenient
in anticipation
pre-existent, pre-existing, preexistent, preexisting
existing previously or before something
preceding
existing or coming before
Antonyms:
subsequent
following in time or order
accompanying, attendant, concomitant, consequent, ensuant, incidental, resultant, sequent
following or accompanying as a consequence
later, posterior, ulterior
coming at a subsequent time or stage
succeeding
coming after or following
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2

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

Type of:
referent
something referred to; the object of a reference
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