1. Going before in time; prior; anterior; preceding; as, an event antecedent to the Deluge; an antecedent cause.
2. Presumptive; as, an antecedent improbability.
Syn: -- Prior; previous; foregoing.
1. That which goes before in time; that which precedes.
The Homeric mythology, as well as the Homeric language, has surely its antecedents. --Max Miller.
2. One who precedes or goes in front. [Obs.]
My antecedent, or my gentleman usher. --Massinger.
3. pl. The earlier events of one's life; previous principles, conduct, course, history.
If the troops . . . prove worthy of their antecedents, the victory is surely ours. --Gen. G. McClellan.
4. Gram. The noun to which a relative refers; as, in the sentence “Solomon was the prince who built the temple,” prince is the antecedent of who.
5. Logic (a) The first or conditional part of a hypothetical proposition; as, If the earth is fixed, the sun must move. (b) The first of the two propositions which constitute an enthymeme or contracted syllogism; as, Every man is mortal; therefore the king must die.
6. Math. The first of the two terms of a ratio; the first or third of the four terms of a proportion. In the ratio a:b, a is the antecedent, and b the consequent.
adj : preceding in time or order [syn: preceding] [ant: subsequent]
n 1: someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote
than a grandparent) [syn: ancestor, ascendant, ascendent,
root] [ant: descendant]
2: a preceding occurrence or cause or event
3: anything that precedes something similar in time;
"phrenology was an antecedent of modern neuroscience"
4: the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is
referred to by an anaphoric pronoun