SKIP TO CONTENT

predecease

To predecease someone is to die before they do. If, tragically, your goldfish dies one week and your gerbil passes away the following week, you can say the fish predeceases the gerbil.

While you can use this verb to talk about any person or animal's death — or even the death of your favorite houseplants — it's most common to describe one family member predeceasing another. It's devastating when a child predeceases his or her parents, or when one twin predeceases the other. This sixteenth century word uses the "before" prefix pre- and decease, from the Latin decessus, or "death."

Definitions of predecease
  1. verb
    die before; die earlier than
    “She predeceased her husband”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    buy the farm, cash in one's chips, choke, conk, croak, decease, die, drop dead, exit, expire, give-up the ghost, go, kick the bucket, pass, pass away, perish, pop off, snuff it
    pass from physical life and lose all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’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.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week