Definition of antecedent noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌæntɪˈsiːdnt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌæntɪˈsiːdnt//
    Family background
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  1. 1[countable] (formal) a thing or an event that exists or comes before another, and may have influenced it
  2. 2antecedents [plural] (formal) the people in somebody’s family who lived a long time ago synonym ancestor, forebear See related entries: Family background
  3. 3 [countable] (grammar) a word or phrase to which the following word, especially a pronoun, refers In ‘He grabbed the ball and threw it in the air’, ‘ball’ is the antecedent of ‘it’.
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French or from Latin antecedent- ‘going before’, from antecedere, from ante ‘before’ + cedere ‘go’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: antecedent

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