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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Pre·cede v. t. [imp. & p. p. Preceded; p. pr. & vb. n. Preceding.]
 1. To go before in order of time; to occur first with relation to anything. “Harm precedes not sin.”
 2. To go before in place, rank, or importance.
 3. To cause to be preceded; to preface; to introduce; -- used with by or with before the instrumental object. [R.]
    It is usual to precede hostilities by a public declaration.   --Kent.