# antecedent

## English

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### Etymology

From Middle English antecedent, borrowed from Old French antecedent, from Latin antecēdēns (going before), from antecēdō (to precede; excel; surpass).

### Pronunciation

• IPA(key): /ˌantɪˈsiːdənt/

antecedent (not comparable)

1. Earlier, either in time or in order.
an event antecedent to the Biblical Flood
an antecedent cause
2. Presumptive.
an antecedent improbability

### Noun

Examples (linguistics: expression referred to by pronoun)
• In “The policeman asked the boy what he was doing.”, the phrase “the boy” is the antecedent of the pronoun “he”.
• In the sentence “I saw my girlfriend yesterday wearing her old jacket which is odd because she almost never wears it.”, the phrase “my girlfriend” is the antecedent of “her” and “old jacket” is the antecedent of “it”.

antecedent (plural antecedents)

1. Any thing that precedes another thing, especially the cause of the second thing.
2. An ancestor.
• 1931, H. P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness, chapter 3:
The Boston agent added that this clerk was a young man of wholly unquestioned veracity and reliability, of known antecedents and long with the company.
3. (grammar) A word, phrase or clause referred to by a pronoun.
• H. W. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage
[W]hereas it might seem orderly that, as who is appropriated to persons, so that should have been appropriated to things [] the antecedent of that is often personal.
• 1988, Andrew Radford, Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 117:
One such condition can be formulated in terms of the c-command relation defined in (9) above: the relevant condition is given in (16) below:
(16) C-COMMAND CONDITION ON ANAPHORS
An anaphor must have an appropriate c-commanding antecedent
4. (logic) The conditional part of a hypothetical proposition, i.e. ${\displaystyle p\rightarrow q}$, where ${\displaystyle p}$ is the antecedent, and ${\displaystyle q}$ is the consequent.
5. (logic) The first of two subsets of a sequent, consisting of all the sequent's formulae which are valuated as true.
(Can we add an example for this sense?)
6. (mathematics) The first term of a ratio, i.e. the term a in the ratio a:b, the other being the consequent.
7. (chiefly in the plural) Previous principles, conduct, history, etc.

#### Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

## Dutch

### Etymology

Borrowed from French antécédent, from Latin antecēdēns (go before), from antecēdere (to go or come before).

### Pronunciation

• IPA(key): /ɑn.tə.səˈdɛnt/
•  audio (file)
• Hyphenation: an‧te‧ce‧dent
• Rhymes: -ɛnt

### Noun

antecedent n (plural antecedenten, diminutive antecedentje n)

1. antecedent (thing that precedes; prior fact, background fact)
2. (linguistics) antecedent (referent of a word, esp. of a pronoun)
3. (logic) antecedent (condition part of a proposition)

#### Antonyms

• (logic): (consequent)
• (linguistics): (anafoor)

antecēdent

## Romanian

### Etymology

From French antécédent, from Latin antecedens.