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v. pre·ced·ed, pre·ced·ing, pre·cedes
1. To come, exist, or occur before in time: A lecture preceded the movie.
2. To be in front of or prior to in order: A precedes B in the alphabet.
3. To go in advance of: A marching band preceded the float.
4. To preface; introduce: preceded her lecture with a funny anecdote.
To be before in time, order, or position.

[Middle English preceden, from Old French preceder, from Latin praecēdere : prae-, pre- + cēdere, to go; see ked- in Indo-European roots.]


1. to go or be before (someone or something) in time, place, rank, etc
2. (tr) to preface or introduce
[C14: via Old French from Latin praecēdere to go before, from prae before + cēdere to move]



v. -ced•ed, -ced•ing. v.t.
1. to go before, as in place, rank, importance, or time.
2. to introduce by something preliminary; preface.
3. to go or come before.
[1325–75; Middle English < Latin praecēdere. See pre-, cede]
pre•ced′a•ble, adj.


1. 'proceed'

If you proceed (/prəsiːd/) to do something, you do it after you have finished doing something else.

He proceeded to explain.
She proceeded to hand over the key to my room.

In stories and formal English, if someone proceeds in a particular direction, they go in that direction.

He proceeded downstairs. we were proceeding along Chiswick High Street.
2. 'precede'

To precede (/prɪsiːd/) an event means to happen before it. Precede is a formal word.

The children's dinner was preceded by party games.


Past participle: preceded
Gerund: preceding

I precede
you precede
he/she/it precedes
we precede
you precede
they precede
I preceded
you preceded
he/she/it preceded
we preceded
you preceded
they preceded
Present Continuous
I am preceding
you are preceding
he/she/it is preceding
we are preceding
you are preceding
they are preceding
Present Perfect
I have preceded
you have preceded
he/she/it has preceded
we have preceded
you have preceded
they have preceded
Past Continuous
I was preceding
you were preceding
he/she/it was preceding
we were preceding
you were preceding
they were preceding
Past Perfect
I had preceded
you had preceded
he/she/it had preceded
we had preceded
you had preceded
they had preceded
I will precede
you will precede
he/she/it will precede
we will precede
you will precede
they will precede
Future Perfect
I will have preceded
you will have preceded
he/she/it will have preceded
we will have preceded
you will have preceded
they will have preceded
Future Continuous
I will be preceding
you will be preceding
he/she/it will be preceding
we will be preceding
you will be preceding
they will be preceding
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been preceding
you have been preceding
he/she/it has been preceding
we have been preceding
you have been preceding
they have been preceding
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been preceding
you will have been preceding
he/she/it will have been preceding
we will have been preceding
you will have been preceding
they will have been preceding
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been preceding
you had been preceding
he/she/it had been preceding
we had been preceding
you had been preceding
they had been preceding
I would precede
you would precede
he/she/it would precede
we would precede
you would precede
they would precede
Past Conditional
I would have preceded
you would have preceded
he/she/it would have preceded
we would have preceded
you would have preceded
they would have preceded
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.precede - be earlier in timeprecede - be earlier in time; go back further; "Stone tools precede bronze tools"
2.precede - come before; "Most English adjectives precede the noun they modify"
lie - be located or situated somewhere; occupy a certain position
3.precede - be the predecessor of; "Bill preceded John in the long line of Susan's husbands"
come after, succeed, follow - be the successor (of); "Carter followed Ford"; "Will Charles succeed to the throne?"
4.precede - move ahead (of others) in time or space
go, locomote, move, travel - change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically; "How fast does your new car go?"; "We travelled from Rome to Naples by bus"; "The policemen went from door to door looking for the suspect"; "The soldiers moved towards the city in an attempt to take it before night fell"; "news travelled fast"
head, lead - travel in front of; go in advance of others; "The procession was headed by John"
follow - to travel behind, go after, come after; "The ducklings followed their mother around the pond"; "Please follow the guide through the museum"
5.precede - furnish with a preface or introduction; "She always precedes her lectures with a joke"; "He prefaced his lecture with a critical remark about the institution"
preamble - make a preliminary introduction, usually to a formal document
prologise, prologize, prologuize - write or speak a prologue
say, state, tell - express in words; "He said that he wanted to marry her"; "tell me what is bothering you"; "state your opinion"; "state your name"


1. go before, introduce, herald, pave the way for, usher in, antedate, antecede, forerun Intensive negotiations preceded the vote.
2. go ahead of, lead, head, go before, take precedence Alice preceded them from the room.
3. preface, introduce, go before, launch, prefix the information that precedes the paragraph in question


1. To come, exist, or occur before in time:
2. To begin (something) with preliminary or prefatory material:
gå forankomme før
vera/koma/fara á undan
atsitikti pirma koeiti pirma kopirma einantispirma įvykęsprecedentas
iet pa priekšunotikt iepriekš
biti pred komzgoditi se pred čim
önde gitmek


[prɪˈsiːd] VT (in space, time, rank) → preceder, anteceder
he let me precede him through the doorme dejó pasar por la puerta a mí primero
the concert was preceded by a talkel concierto vino precedido de una charla
his reputation had preceded himsu reputación jugaba en contra de él
for a month preceding thisdurante un mes anterior a esto


(= happen before) → précéder
to be preceded by sth → être précédé par qch
The earthquake was preceded by several smaller tremors → Le tremblement de terre a été précédé par plusieurs secousses plus petites.
(= be the predecessor of) → précéder
(= go in front of) → précéder
(= come before) [paragraph, sentence, chapter] → précéder


vt (in order, time) → vorangehen (+dat); (in importance) → gehen vor (+dat); (in rank) → stehen über (+dat); for the month preceding thisden (ganzen) Monat davor; to precede a lecture with a jokeeinem Vortrag einen Witz vorausschicken


[prɪˈsiːd] vt (in space, time) → precedere
he preceded me as chairman of the Society → è stato il mio predecessore nella presidenza della Società


(priˈsiːd) verb
to go, happen etc before. She preceded him into the room.
precedence (ˈpresidəns) noun
(the right of) going before in order of importance etc. This matter is urgent and should be given precedence over others at the moment.
ˌprecedent (ˈpresidənt) noun
a past action, especially a legal decision, which may act as a guide or rule in the future.
preˈceding adjective
on the preceding page.


v. preceder, anteceder, anteponer.
References in classic literature ?
In knowledge of the future, it is obvious that they are totally distinct, since otherwise the response would precede the stimulus.
I am convinced that awful magistrate my lord-mayor contracts a good deal of that reverence which attends him through the year, by the several pageants which precede his pomp.
Besides, the notion of a city naturally precedes that of a family or an individual, for the whole must necessarily be prior to the parts, for if you take away the whole man, you cannot say a foot or a hand remains, unless by equivocation, as supposing a hand of stone to be made, but that would only be a dead one; but everything is understood to be this or that by its energic qualities and powers, so that when these no longer remain, neither can that be said to be the same, but something of the same name.
Up till nightfall, a dull, noiseless agitation, such as precedes great catastrophes, ran through the anxious multitude.