precedent Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “precedent” in the English Dictionary

"precedent" in British English

See all translations

precedentnoun

uk   /ˈpres.ɪ.dənt/  us   /ˈpres.ə.dent/
C2 [C] an action, situation, or decision that has already happened and can be used as a reason why a similar action or decision should be performed or made: There are several precedents for promoting people who don't have formal qualifications. Some politicians fear that agreeing to the concession would set a dangerous precedent.
[U] the way that something has been done in the past that therefore shows that it is the correct way: Would it be breaking with precedent for the bride to make a speech?
[C] specialized law a decision about a particular legal case that makes it likely that other similar cases will be decided in the same way: The judgment on pension rights has established/set a precedent.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of precedent from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"precedent" in American English

See all translations

precedentnoun [C/U]

 us   /ˈpres·ɪ·dənt/
a previous action, situation, or decision that can be used as a reason or example for a similar action or decision at a later time: [C] Conditions have changed enormously, and the past is not much of a precedent. [U] Precedent indicated that a change would take place sooner rather than later.
(Definition of precedent from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"precedent" in Business English

See all translations

precedentnoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈpresɪdənt/
LAW a previous action or decision that can be used as a reason for allowing something else: The ruling can serve as a precedent to challenge other similar cases. A judgement against the fund could set a precedent for compensation payments to more of its 6,000 investors. This is an experiment without precedent in economic history.a bad/dangerous/good precedent This law sets a very dangerous precedent for all businesses. create/establish/provide a precedent a legal precedent base sth on/follow a precedent
(Definition of precedent from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of precedent?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “precedent”

A bunch of stuff about plurals
A bunch of stuff about plurals
by ,
May 24, 2016
by Colin McIntosh One of the many ways in which English differs from other languages is its use of uncountable nouns to talk about collections of objects: as well as never being used in the plural, they’re never used with a or an. Examples are furniture (plural in German and many other languages), cutlery (plural in Italian), and

Read More 

Word of the Day

parasol

a type of sunshade (= round frame covered in cloth on a stick) carried especially by women in the past, to give protection from the sun

Word of the Day

convo noun
convo noun
May 23, 2016
informal a conversation The convo around concussions mostly focuses on guys who play football, but Chastain thinks that this whole thing could be a headache for women too.

Read More