To predate is to happen or exist before something else. If you move into a house that already has a ghost, the ghost predates you. Boo!

If your interest in soul music predates your sister's, you loved it first. When you use predate this way, you can read it as a combination of pre-, "before," and date, "point in time." Another meaning of this verb is "to prey on for food," so you could say that your cat predates the mice that live in your kitchen. This definition stems from predator, from the Latin praedator, "plunderer."

Definitions of predate
  1. verb
    be earlier in time; go back further
    synonyms: antecede, antedate, forego, forgo, precede
    see moresee less
    follow, postdate
    be later in time
    come after, follow
    come after in time, as a result
    show more antonyms...
  2. verb
    come before
    synonyms: precede
    see moresee less
    type of:
    be located or situated somewhere; occupy a certain position
  3. verb
    establish something as being earlier relative to something else
    synonyms: antedate, foredate
    see moresee less
    establish something as being later relative to something else
    type of:
    chronologise, chronologize
    establish the order in time of something
  4. verb
    prey on or hunt for
    “These mammals predate certain eggs”
    synonyms: prey, raven
    see moresee less
    type of:
    wander and feed
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week