pre·ce·dent /prɪˈsidṇt, ˈprɛsədənt/
1. Something done or said that may serve as an example to authorize a subsequent act of the same kind; an authoritative example.
Examples for cases can but direct as precedents only. --Hooker.
2. A preceding circumstance or condition; an antecedent; hence, a prognostic; a token; a sign. [Obs.]
3. A rough draught of a writing which precedes a finished copy. [Obs.]
4. Law A judicial decision which serves as a rule for future determinations in similar or analogous cases; an authority to be followed in courts of justice; forms of proceeding to be followed in similar cases.
Syn: -- Example; antecedent.
Usage: -- Precedent, Example. An example in a similar case which may serve as a rule or guide, but has no authority out of itself. A precedent is something which comes down to us from the past with the sanction of usage and of common consent. We quote examples in literature, and precedents in law.
Pre·ced·ent a. Going before; anterior; preceding; antecedent; as, precedent services. --Shak. “A precedent injury.”
Condition precedent Law, a condition which precede the vesting of an estate, or the accruing of a right.
adj : preceding in time, order, or significance
n 1: an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a
later time [syn: case in point]
2: (civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial
decisions [syn: case law, common law]
3: a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents
rather than statutory laws; "common law originated in the
unwritten laws of England and was later applied in the
United States" [syn: common law, case law]
4: a subject mentioned earlier (preceding in time)