Something is preceding if it comes directly before. The preceding sentence is not so much a definition of the word preceding as a description of it.

To cede is to give way, so when you use preceding to describe, say, a person, you’re essentially describing him as the one that just gave way. Previous is a good synonyms. If you are in 11th grade now, you were in 10th grade in the preceding year. And a persistent person will keep asking for something even if "no" has been the answer the 10 preceding times he or she has asked.

Definitions of preceding
  1. adjective
    existing or coming before
    preceding in time or order
    appearing earlier in the same text
    above-mentioned, above-named
    mentioned or named earlier in the same text
    especially of writing or speech; going before
    introductory, prefatorial, prefatory
    serving as an introduction or preface
    preceding in time, order, or significance
    preceding and preparing for the study of medicine
    preparative, preparatory, propaedeutic
    preceding and preparing for something
    old, previous
    just preceding something else in time or order
    see moresee less
    coming after or following
    following in time or order
    back-to-back, consecutive
    one after the other
    following immediately and as a result of what went before
    following, undermentioned
    about to be mentioned or specified
    following, next
    immediately following in time or order
    in line
    being next in a line of succession
    after death or after an event
    show more antonyms...
  2. adjective
    of a person who has held and relinquished a position or office
    synonyms: past, retiring
    leaving a place or a position
Word Family

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