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Meaning of “antecedent” in the English Dictionary

"antecedent" in British English

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antecedentnoun [C]

uk   /ˌæn.tiˈsiː.dənt/  us   /ˌæn.t̬əˈsiː.dənt/
formal someone or something ​existing or ​happening before, ​especially as the ​cause or ​origin of something ​existing or ​happeninglater: Charles Babbage's ​mechanicalcalculatingengines were the antecedents of the ​moderncomputer. Many ​peoplefeel a ​greatcuriosity to ​find out about ​their antecedents.
specialized language a word or phrase that a pronoun refers back to: In the ​sentence "He ​picked a ​book off the ​shelf and ​handed it to Sally", "​book" is the antecedent of "it".

antecedentadjective

uk   /ˌæn.tiˈsiː.dənt/  us   /ˌæn.t̬əˈsiː.dənt/ formal
(Definition of antecedent from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"antecedent" in American English

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antecedentnoun [C usually pl]

 us   /ˌæn·təˈsi·dənt/
something ​existing or ​happening before, esp. as the ​cause of an ​event or ​situation: The ​bookdealt with the ​historical antecedents of the Civil War.
grammar An antecedent is also a word or phrase that a ​pronoun refers to: In the ​sentence, "Joe ​threw the ​ball to Wendy, and Wendy ​threw it back," "the ​ball" is the antecedent of "it."
mathematics An antecedant is also the ​part of a ​conditionalstatement that ​follows the word "if."
(Definition of antecedent from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“antecedent” in British English

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