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."

Bacon.

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

 

© Webster 1913.


Prec"e*dent (?), n.

1.

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.

2.

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

[Obs.]

3.

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

[Obs.]

Shak.

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.

Wharton.

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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