A prerequisite is a required prior condition. If something is required in advance of something else, like if you have to take a beginning Spanish class before signing up for Spanish II, then it’s a prerequisite.

Add pre meaning "before" to require and you have something that's "required before." (That's helpful when trying to spell prerequisite!) Prerequisites to be able to graduate from college can seem like a pain, but most schools offer some fun ways to fulfill them. For example, you can often meet the physical education prerequisite by taking bowling. Prerequisites aren't just for school: “The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear,” said Maya Angelou, the American poet.

Definitions of prerequisite

n something that is required in advance

“Latin was a prerequisite for admission”
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a condition that is a prerequisite
academic requirement
a requirement for admission to or completion of an academic program
essential condition, sine qua non
a prerequisite
language requirement
a requirement that a student know certain languages
Type of:
duty, obligation, responsibility
the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force

adj required as a prior condition or course of study

morally or legally constraining or binding

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