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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 happening later: Charles Babbage's mechanical calculating engines were the antecedents of the modern computer. Many people feel a great curiosity 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 book dealt 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 conditional statement 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

Watching the detectorists
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by Colin McIntosh You could be forgiven for thinking that old-fashioned hobbies that don’t involve computers have fallen out of favour. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, the internet has made it easier for people with specialist hobbies from different corners of the world to come together to support one another

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