Definition of precede in English:

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Pronunciation: /prəˈsēd/


[with object]
1Come before (something) in time: a gun battle had preceded the explosions
More example sentences
  • Elections are won and lost not in the four weeks of campaigning but in the long battle of ideas that precedes them.
  • There was no mention in the evidence of any explosion preceding this observation.
  • One witness reported hearing an explosion precede the fire.
go/come before, lead (up) to, pave/prepare the way for, herald, introduce, usher in
1.1Come before in order or position: take time to read the chapters that precede the recipes (as adjective preceding) the preceding pages
More example sentences
  • From there it goes into the long samurai history, each chapter preceded with a page of settings and players to fully set the scene.
  • Still, I drew it on the page immediately preceding the most killer page in the whole book.
  • The specification proper is preceded by a three page End User License Agreement, in small type.
foregoing, previous, prior, former, precedent, earlier, above, aforementioned, antecedent
formal anterior, prevenient
1.2Go in front or ahead of: he let her precede him through the gate
More example sentences
  • The Frenchman precedes him, but his gaze remains fixed straight ahead as the world record-holder sets off.
  • The front door open and the sound of laughter preceded them into the kitchen.
go ahead of, go in front of, go before, go first, lead the way
1.3 (precede something with) Preface or introduce something with: he preceded the book with a collection of poems
More example sentences
  • Lately my daughter has been preceding her remarks with an excited, ‘Guess what?!’
  • My lecturer, Scott [for some reason I can never write about him without preceding his actual name with the words ‘my lecturer’], generally dislikes him, though I myself fail to see why.
  • Of course he spoiled the multilateralist feel of the phrase by preceding it with ‘on my orders’ - suggesting he is in charge even of the British army - but the thought was there.
preface, introduce, begin, open


Late Middle English: from Old French preceder, from Latin praecedere, from prae 'before' + cedere 'go'.

  • cede from early 16th century:

    Cede is from French céder or Latin cedere ‘to yield, give way, go’. Cedere is a rich source of English words including abscess (mid 16th century) ‘going away’ (of the infection when it bursts); access [Middle English] ‘go to’; ancestor (Middle English) someone who went ante ‘before’; antecedent (Late Middle English) from the same base as ancestor; cease (Middle English); concede (Late Middle English) to give way completely; decease (Middle English) ‘go away’; exceed (Late Middle English) to go beyond a boundary; intercede (late 16th century) go between; predecessor (Late Middle English) one who went away before; proceed (Late Middle English) to go forward; recede (Late Middle English) ‘go back’; and succeed (Late Middle English) ‘come close after’.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pre·cede

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