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6 definitions found
 for Precedent
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Precedent \Prec"e*dent\, n.
     1. Something done or said that may serve as an example to
        authorize a subsequent act of the same kind; an
        authoritative example.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Examples for cases can but direct as precedents
              only.                                 --Hooker.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. A preceding circumstance or condition; an antecedent;
        hence, a prognostic; a token; a sign. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. A rough draught of a writing which precedes a finished
        copy. [Obs.] --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. (Law) 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. --Wharton.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Syn: Example; antecedent.
  
     Usage: Precedent, Example. An example in a similar case
            which may serve as a rule or guide, but has no
            authority out of itself. A precedent is something
            which comes down to us from the past with the sanction
            of usage and of common consent. We quote examples in
            literature, and precedents in law.
            [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Precedent \Pre*ced"ent\, a. [L. praecedens, -entis, p. pr. of
     praecedere: cf. F. pr['e]c['e]dent. See Precede.]
     Going before; anterior; preceding; antecedent; as, precedent
     services. --Shak. "A precedent injury." --Bacon.
     [1913 Webster]
  
     Condition precedent (Law), a condition which precede the
        vesting of an estate, or the accruing of a right.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  precedent
      adj 1: preceding in time, order, or significance
      n 1: an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a
           later time [syn: precedent, case in point]
      2: (civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial
         decisions [syn: case law, precedent, common law]
      3: a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents rather
         than statutory laws; "common law originated in the unwritten
         laws of England and was later applied in the United States"
         [syn: common law, case law, precedent]
      4: a subject mentioned earlier (preceding in time)

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  87 Moby Thesaurus words for "precedent":
     action, ancestor, announcer, antecedent, anterior, antetype,
     antitype, archetype, avant-garde, award, bellwether, biotype,
     buccinator, bushwhacker, classic example, condemnation,
     consideration, criterion, decision, decree, deliverance,
     determination, diagnosis, dictum, doom, epitome, example, exemplar,
     explorer, finding, forebear, foregoer, foregoing, forerunner,
     former, front runner, frontiersman, fugleman, fugler, genotype,
     groundbreaker, guide, harbinger, herald, imitatee, innovator, lead,
     lead runner, leader, messenger, mirror, model, order, original,
     paradigm, past, pathfinder, pattern, pioneer, point, precursor,
     predecessor, premise, previous, prior, prognosis, pronouncement,
     prototype, representative, resolution, rule, ruling, scout,
     sentence, standard, stormy petrel, trailblazer, trailbreaker, type,
     type species, type specimen, urtext, vanguard, vaunt-courier,
     verdict, voortrekker, yardstick
  
  

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906) :

  PRECEDENT, n.  In Law, a previous decision, rule or practice which, in
  the absence of a definite statute, has whatever force and authority a
  Judge may choose to give it, thereby greatly simplifying his task of
  doing as he pleases.  As there are precedents for everything, he has
  only to ignore those that make against his interest and accentuate
  those in the line of his desire.  Invention of the precedent elevates
  the trial-at-law from the low estate of a fortuitous ordeal to the
  noble attitude of a dirigible arbitrament.
  

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906) :

  PRECEDENT, n.  In Law, a previous decision, rule or practice which, in
  the absence of a definite statute, has whatever force and authority a
  Judge may choose to give it, thereby greatly simplifying his task of
  doing as he pleases.  As there are precedents for everything, he has
  only to ignore those that make against his interest and accentuate
  those in the line of his desire.  Invention of the precedent elevates
  the trial-at-law from the low estate of a fortuitous ordeal to the
  noble attitude of a dirigible arbitrament.
  

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