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Definition of Antecedent


  1. Going before in time; prior; anterior; preceding; as, an event antecedent to the Deluge; an antecedent cause.
  2. Presumptive; as, an antecedent improbability.
  3. That which goes before in time; that which precedes.
  4. One who precedes or goes in front.
  5. The earlier events of one's life; previous principles, conduct, course, history.
  6. 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.
  7. The first or conditional part of a hypothetical proposition; as, If the earth is fixed, the sun must move.
  8. The first of the two propositions which constitute an enthymeme or contracted syllogism; as, Every man is mortal; therefore the king must die.
  9. 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.

Antecedent Translations

antecedent in German is vorangehend, vorhergehend, vorher
antecedent in Swedish is korelat