[uncountable] precedence (over somebody/something) the condition of being more important than somebody else and therefore coming or being dealt with first synonym priority She had to learn that her wishes did not take precedence over other people's needs. The speakers came on to the platform in order of precedence (= the most important one first). Environmental concerns must be given precedence over commercial interest.Extra examples The guests were seated strictly in order of precedence. The needs of the patient take precedence over those of the student doctor. You should give your schoolwork precedence. Her wishes did not take priority/precedence over other people’s needs. She had to learn that her wishes did not take precedence over other people’s needs. The speakers came on to the platform in order of precedence.