An`te*ced"ent (#), a. [L. antecedens, -entis, p. pr. of antecedere: cf. F. ant'ec'edent.]

1.

Going before in time; prior; anterior; preceding; as, an event antecedent to the Deluge; an antecedent cause.

2.

Presumptive; as, an antecedent improbability.

Syn. -- Prior; previous; foregoing.

 

© Webster 1913.


An`te*ced"ent, n. [Cf. F. ant'ec'edent.]

1.

That which goes before in time; that which precedes.

South.

The Homeric mythology, as well as the Homeric language, has surely its antecedents. Max Miller.

2.

One who precedes or goes in front.

[Obs.]

My antecedent, or my gentleman usher. Massinger.

3. pl.

The earlier events of one's life; previous principles, conduct, course, history.

J. H. Newman.

If the troops . . . prove worthy of their antecedents, the victory is surely ours. Gen. G. McClellan.

4. Gram.

The noun to which a relative refers; as, in the sentence "Solomon was the prince who built the temple," prince is the antecedent of who.

5. Logic (a)

The first or conditional part of a hypothetical proposition; as, If the earth is fixed, the sun must move.

(b)

The first of the two propositions which constitute an enthymeme or contracted syllogism; as, Every man is mortal; therefore the king must die.

6. Math.

The first of the two terms of a ratio; the first or third of the four terms of a proportion. In the ratio a:b, a is the antecedent, and b the consequent.

 

© Webster 1913.

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