American English

Definition of antecedent noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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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 someone's family who lived a long time ago synonym ancestor
  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.”
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: antecedent

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