I. noun 1. a thing that existed before or logically precedes another • some antecedents to the African novel might exist in Africa’s oral traditions.
2. ( antecedents) — a person’s ancestors or family and social background • her early life and antecedents have been traced.
[Grammar] an earlier word, phrase, or clause to which another word (especially a following relative pronoun) refers back.
[Logic] the statement contained in the ‘if’ clause of a conditional proposition.
II. adjective 1. preceding in time or order; previous or pre-existing • antecedent events.
[Grammar] denoting or counting as an antecedent.
III. derivatives 1. antecedence /ˌantɪˈsiːdəns / noun
2. antecedently adverb
– origin late Middle English: from Old French or from Latin antecedent- ‘going before’, from antecedere, from ante ‘before’ + cedere ‘go’.