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


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


Presumptive; as, an antecedent improbability.

Syn. -- Prior; previous; foregoing.


© Webster 1913.

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


That which goes before in time; that which precedes.


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


One who precedes or goes in front.


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.


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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