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5 definitions found
 for antecedent
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Antecedent \An`te*ced"ent\, a. [L. antecedens, -entis, p. pr. of
     antecedere: cf. F. ant['e]c['e]dent.]
     1. Going before in time; prior; anterior; preceding; as, an
        event antecedent to the Deluge; an antecedent cause.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Presumptive; as, an antecedent improbability.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Syn: Prior; previous; foregoing.
          [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Antecedent \An`te*ced"ent\, n. [Cf. F. ant['e]c['e]dent.]
     1. That which goes before in time; that which precedes.
        --South.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The Homeric mythology, as well as the Homeric
              language, has surely its antecedents. --Max Miller.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. One who precedes or goes in front. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              My antecedent, or my gentleman usher. --Massinger.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. pl. The earlier events of one's life; previous principles,
        conduct, course, history. --J. H. Newman.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              If the troops . . . prove worthy of their
              antecedents, the victory is surely ours. --Gen. G.
                                                    McClellan.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
            [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  antecedent
      adj 1: preceding in time or order [ant: subsequent]
      n 1: someone from whom you are descended (but usually more
           remote than a grandparent) [syn: ancestor, ascendant,
           ascendent, antecedent, root] [ant: descendant,
           descendent]
      2: a preceding occurrence or cause or event
      3: anything that precedes something similar in time; "phrenology
         was an antecedent of modern neuroscience" [syn: antecedent,
         forerunner]
      4: the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is
         referred to by an anaphoric pronoun

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  114 Moby Thesaurus words for "antecedent":
     agency, ancestor, ancestors, announcer, antecede, antecedents,
     antedate, anterior, anticipatory, ascendant, ascendants,
     avant-garde, base, basis, bellwether, buccinator, bushwhacker,
     call, causation, cause, cause and effect, chief, ci-devant,
     determinant, determinative, earlier, early, elder, elders, element,
     etiology, exordial, explorer, factor, fathers, first, fore,
     forebear, forebears, forefather, forefathers, foregoer, foregoing,
     foremost, forerun, forerunner, former, front runner, frontiersman,
     fugleman, grandfathers, grandparents, ground, groundbreaker,
     grounds, guide, harbinger, heading, headmost, herald, inaugural,
     initiatory, innovator, instrumentality, lead runner, leader,
     leading, means, messenger, occasion, older, pace, past, pathfinder,
     patriarchs, pioneer, point, precedent, preceding, precessional,
     precurrent, precursor, precursory, predate, predecessor,
     predecessors, preexistent, prefatory, preliminary, preludial,
     prelusive, premise, preparatory, prevenient, previous, prime,
     primogenitor, principle, prior, proemial, progenitor, progenitors,
     propaedeutic, prototype, reason, scout, senior, stimulus,
     stormy petrel, trailblazer, trailbreaker, vanguard, vaunt-courier,
     voortrekker
  
  

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  ANTECEDENT. Something that goes before. In the construction of laws,
  agreements, and the like, reference is always to be made to the last
  antecedent; ad proximun antecedens fiat relatio. But not only the
  antecedents but the subsequent clauses of the instrument must be considered:
  Ex antecedentibus et consequentibus fit optima interpretatio.
  
  

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