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
a preceding occurrence or cause or event
preceding in time or order
the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is referred to by an anaphoric pronoun
n a preceding occurrence or cause or event
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events that provide the generative force that is the origin of something
n someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)
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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
(Old Testament) the youngest and best-loved son of Jacob and Rachel and one of the twelve forebears of the tribes of Israel
(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
(Old Testament) the son of Abraham who was cast out after the birth of Isaac; considered the forebear of 12 Arabian tribes
(Old Testament) a son of Jacob and a forebear of one of the tribes of Israel
(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
(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
(Old Testament) a patriarch (grandfather of Noah) who is said to have lived 969 years
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
(Old Testment) a son of Jacob and forefather of one of the tribes of Israel
the mother of Jesus; Christians refer to her as the Virgin Mary; she is especially honored by Roman Catholics
the mother-in-law of Ruth whose story is told in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament
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a woman ancestor
a person from whom you are descended
father, forefather, sire
the founder of a family
a woman ancestor
an ancestor in the direct line
a natural father or mother
a parent of your father or mother
a parent of your grandparent
any of the early biblical characters regarded as fathers of the human race
adj preceding in time or order
earlier in time
pre-existent, pre-existing, preexistent, preexisting
existing previously or before something
existing or coming before
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
coming after or following
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