antecedent


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antecedent

adjective antecedens, anterior, first, fore, foregoing, forerunning, former, going beeore in time, inaugural, introductory, precedent, precursive, precursory, pre-existent, prefatory, preliminary, prelusive, preparatory, prevenient, prior
Associated concepts: antecedent creditors, antecedent debt, preexisting debts, preexisting liabilities

antecedent

noun ancestor, ancestry, before mennioned, derivation, forerunner, former, last, lineage, original, patriarch, pedigree, pioneer, precedent, precursor, preliminary, premise, primogenitor, progenitor, stock
See also: aforesaid, ascendant, before mentioned, derivation, forerunner, former, initial, last, original, preceding, precursory, predecessor, previous, primogenitor, prior, progenitor, sine qua non

ANTECEDENT. Something that goes before. In the construction of laws, agreements, and the like, reference is always to be made to the last antecedent; ad proximun antecedens fiat relatio. But not only the antecedents but the subsequent clauses of the instrument must be considered: Ex antecedentibus et consequentibus fit optima interpretatio.

References in classic literature ?
There are many of them: take as an example the pleasures, of smell, which are very great and have no antecedent pains; they come in a moment, and when they depart leave no pain behind them.
This band of grandees, Hermes, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Plato, Plotinus, Olympiodorus, Proclus, Synesius and the rest, have somewhat so vast in their logic, so primary in their thinking, that it seems antecedent to all the ordinary distinctions of rhetoric and literature, and to be at once poetry and music and dancing and astronomy and mathematics.
In this, therefore, I think we are agreed; but that this honour can be said to be founded on religion, to which it is antecedent, if by religion be meant any positive law--"
We cannot in practice obtain an antecedent which is QUITE invariable, for this would require us to take account of the whole universe, since something not taken account of may prevent the expected effect.
The antecedent of this pronoun had been mentioned for the last time at eight o'clock.
Perceiving himself to be the antecedent, Bradley looked from the watchman to the man.
Nothing peculiar about her family antecedents, is there?
It was the first time it had ever been so complemented, and Madame Defarge knew enough of its antecedents to know better.
The book itself had the appearance of having been stolen from some court of justice, and perhaps his knowledge of its antecedents, combined with his own experience in that wise, gave him a reliance on its powers as a sort of legal spell or charm.
Such a birth requires, as its antecedents, not only a series of carefully arranged intermarriages, but also a long, continued exercise of frugality and self-control on the part of the would-be ancestors of the coming Equilateral, and a patient, systematic, and continuous development of the Isosceles intellect through many generations.
I would much rather not have told her anything of my antecedents, but no man could look into the depth of those eyes and refuse her slightest behest.
Bwana, as she insisted upon calling her benefactor, dissuaded her from making the attempt at once by dispatching a head man with a party of blacks to Kovudoo's village with instructions to learn from the old savage how he came into possession of the white girl and as much of her antecedents as might be culled from the black chieftain.