V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary


noun, adjective

Definition: (n.) 1. an action or decision from the past, that can be used as an example for future, similar circumstances; 2. an established custom or practice; 3. a law established by following previous legal decisions; (adj.) preceding in time, order, or significance

Synonyms: (n.) example, instance, model, pattern, paradigm, precursor, prototype, guideline; (adj.) prior, preceding, foregoing

Antonyms: (adj.) following, descendent

Tips: When learning the meaning of the word precedent, think of the related word precede, which means "to go before." A precedent is something that has happened before and is used as an example of how something similar should be handled. Something that is unprecedented does not have a precedent. Note: many people confuse precedent with precedence. Precedence refers to something that is more important than other things and should be addressed first. "This has precedence (importance) over everything else."

Usage Examples:

The case is likely to serve as a precedent for future, similar cases. (model, example, prototype) noun

The lawyer cited several precedents when making his case. (instances, models, examples) noun

In an unprecedented move, the judge declared the man insane. (without prior example) adjective

The judge had a difficult time ruling on the case, because there was really no precedent on which to base his ruling. (example, model) noun

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