Pre"cent (?), n. [L. praeceptum, from praecipere to take beforehand, to instruct, teach; prae before + capere to take: cf. F. pr'ecepte. See Pre-, and Capacious.]


Any commandment, instruction, or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; esp., a command respecting moral conduct; an injunction; a rule.

For precept must be upon precept. Isa. xxviii. 10.

No arts are without their precepts. Dryden.

2. Law

A command in writing; a species of writ or process.


Syn. -- Commandment; injunction; mandate; law; rule; direction; principle; maxim. See Doctrine.


© Webster 1913.

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