Pre*ced"ent (?), a. [L. praecedens, -entis, p. pr. of praecedere: cf. F. pr'ec'edent. See Precede.]

Going before; anterior; preceding; antecedent; as, precedent services.

Shak. "A precedent injury."


Condition precedent Law, a condition which precede the vesting of an estate, or the accruing of a right.


© Webster 1913.

Prec"e*dent (?), n.


Something done or said that may serve as an example to authorize a subsequent act of the same kind; an authoritative example.

Examples for cases can but direct as precedents only. Hooker.


A preceding circumstance or condition; an antecedent; hence, a prognostic; a token; a sign.



A rough draught of a writing which precedes a finished copy.



4. Law

A judicial decision which serves as a rule for future determinations in similar or analogous cases; an authority to be followed in courts of justice; forms of proceeding to be followed in similar cases.


Syn. -- Example; antecedent. -- Precedent, Example. An example in a similar case which may serve as a rule or guide, but has no authority out of itself. A precedent is something which comes down to us from the past with the sanction of usage and of common consent. We quote examples in literature, and precedents in law.


© Webster 1913.

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