Something done or said that may serve as an example to authorize a subsequent act of the same kind; an authoritative example.
A preceding circumstance or condition; an antecedent; hence, a prognostic; a token; a sign.
A rough draught of a writing which precedes a finished copy.
A judicial decision which serves as a rule for future determinations in similar or analogous cases; an authority to be followed in courts of justice; forms of proceeding to be followed in similar cases.
He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself. Thomas Paine
I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent. George Washington
I have an almost complete disregard of precedent, and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I go for anything new that might improve the past. Clara Barton
When you raise issues with the President, try to come away with both that decision and also a precedent. Pose issues so as to evoke broader policy guidance. This can help to answer a range of similar issues likely to arise later. Donald Rumsfeld