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1. The act of passing by, disregarding, or omitting.
2. Law The failure of a testator to provide for a legal heir in his or her will.
3. Christianity The Calvinist doctrine that God neglected to designate those who would be damned, positively determining only the elect.

[Late Latin praeteritiō, praeteritiōn-, a passing over, from Latin praeteritus, past participle of praeterīre, to go by; see preterite.]


1. the act of passing over or omitting
2. (Law) Roman law the failure of a testator to name one of his children in his will, thus invalidating it
3. (Theology) (in Calvinist theology) the doctrine that God passed over or left unpredestined those not elected to final salvation
[C17: from Late Latin praeteritiō a passing over]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.preterition - suggesting by deliberately concise treatment that much of significance is omitted
rhetorical device - a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance)
References in periodicals archive ?
Among them are God, already everything was there, dwelling, spew into the sea, off age's shore, Peruvia, of maps and of prints, Lazarus, clairvoy, write in tongues, unfinish the hi/story, just before the paper, the fear of names, dragonflies, slight uneasiness the masculine, preteritions, our century, the shelves, the body writes, measures, tempo, the grace the galloping, and God's return.
All preteritions, aposiopesis, and silence must be regarded as figures signaling unpresentability.