Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “precedent”

precedent

noun uk   /ˈpres.ɪ.dənt/ us    /-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 taken: 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 law 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.
(Definition of precedent from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of precedent?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “precedent” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

bright spark

a person who is intelligent, and full of energy and enthusiasm

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More