V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: someone who held a position or job before you

Synonyms: precursor, prior, forerunner, ancestor, forefather, precedent

Antonyms: successor

Tips: Predecessor can be broken down to help remember its meaning. Pre means "before," and decessor comes from the Latin word for "depart" (think of the related word deceased). Therefore, predecessor is someone who held the position before departing, but who is no longer there (because of leaving the position). Predecessor and precursor are synonymous. We recommend that you use predecessor to discuss people and precursor to describe things or inanimate objects. "The former IT director was my predecessor who installed the old network, which was the precursor to our new network."

Usage Examples:

The new employee wasn't sure he would be as good at his job as his predecessor. (forerunner)

The sequel turned out to be a much better movie than its predecessor. (precursor)

The President spent more time on vacation than any of his predecessors. (forefathers, precursors)

My predecessor left me with all kinds of issues that she failed to clear up before leaving the job. (forerunner)

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