Definition of predecessor in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpriːdɪsɛsə/


1A person who held a job or office before the current holder: the new President’s foreign policy is very similar to that of his predecessor
More example sentences
  • In this context comparisons to his great predecessor in office do not seem to me absurd.
  • Watching it all will be his predecessor, currently holed up in Australia, unable to get back home.
  • When I started this job my predecessor left me a guide which I referred to constantly for the first few weeks.
former/previous holder of the post, forerunner, precursor, antecedent
1.1A thing that has been followed or replaced by another: the chapel was built in 1864 on the site of its predecessor
More example sentences
  • The road bridge was built over the town's railway line to replace its predecessor, because of safety concerns.
  • In this context, such systems will inevitably replace their paper based predecessors.
  • It is crowned with a stone shell keep of about 1300, which replaced a timber predecessor.


Late Middle English: from late Latin praedecessor, from Latin prae 'beforehand' + decessor 'retiring officer' (from decedere 'depart').

  • 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’.

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