Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

precedent  - definition and synonyms

 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun precedent pronunciation in British English /ˈpresɪdənt/
Word Forms
Close
singularprecedent
pluralprecedents
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] an action or event in the past that is used as an example or reason for a present action or event
    precedent for:

    There are good precedents for this sort of cooperation between organizations.

    set/establish/create a precedent:

    Arab states condemned the plan, regarding it as setting a dangerous precedent.

    without precedent:

    This is disturbing news and totally without precedent.

  2. 2
    [countable] legal a decision by a court on which future decisions are based

    It would not be right for this case to be treated as a precedent.

    1. a.
      [uncountable] the practice of basing legal decisions on decisions in previous cases

      The English legal system is a composite of legislation and judicial precedent.

bit rot

when electronic information is lost because the software or devices needed to read it are no longer available

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

jive

to dance a jive

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog