Definitions for: Antecedent

[n] the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is referred to by an anaphoric pronoun
[n] a preceding occurrence or cause or event
[n] someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote that a grandparent)
[n] anything that precedes something similar in time; "phrenology was an antecedent of modern neuroscience"
[adj] preceding in time or order

Webster (1913) Definition: An`te*ced"ent, a. [L. antecedens, -entis, p. pr. of
antecedere: cf. F. ant['e]c['e]dent.]
1. Going before in time; prior; anterior; preceding; as, an
event antecedent to the Deluge; an antecedent cause.

2. Presumptive; as, an antecedent improbability.

Syn: Prior; previous; foregoing.

An`te*ced"ent, n. [Cf. F. ant['e]c['e]dent.]
1. That which goes before in time; that which precedes.

The Homeric mythology, as well as the Homeric
language, has surely its antecedents. --Max Miller.

2. One who precedes or goes in front. [Obs.]

My antecedent, or my gentleman usher. --Massinger.

3. pl. The earlier events of one's life; previous principles,
conduct, course, history. --J. H. Newman.

If the troops . . . prove worthy of their
antecedents, the victory is surely ours. --Gen. G.

4. (Gram.) The noun to which a relative refers; as, in the
sentence ``Solomon was the prince who built the temple,''
prince is the antecedent of who.

5. (Logic)
(a) The first or conditional part of a hypothetical
proposition; as, If the earth is fixed, the sun must
(b) The first of the two propositions which constitute an
enthymeme or contracted syllogism; as, Every man is
mortal; therefore the king must die.

6. (Math.) The first of the two terms of a ratio; the first
or third of the four terms of a proportion. In the ratio
a:b, a is the antecedent, and b the consequent.

Synonyms: ancestor, anterior, anticipatory, ascendant, ascendent, forerunner, preceding, preexistent, prevenient, prior(a), root

Antonyms: descendant, descendent, subsequent

See Also: ancestress, cause, father, forbear, forebear, forefather, foremother, preceding(a), primogenitor, progenitor, referent, relation, relative, sire, temporal relation

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