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precedent - definition and synonyms

 
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noun precedent pronunciation in British English /ˈpresɪdənt/
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singularprecedent
pluralprecedents
  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.
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