Syn. Prior; previous; foregoing.
(An`te*ced"ent), n. [Cf. F. antécédent.]
1. That which goes before in time; that which precedes. South.
The Homeric mythology, as well as the Homeric language, has surely its antecedents.
2. One who precedes or goes in front. [Obs.]
My antecedent, or my gentleman usher.
3. pl. The earlier events of one's life; previous principles, conduct, course, history. J. H. Newman.
If the troops . . . prove worthy of their antecedents, the victory is surely ours.
Gen. G. McClellan.
4. (Gram.) The noun to which a relative refers; as, in the sentence "Solomon was the prince who built
the temple," prince is the antecedent of who.
5. (Logic) (a) The first or conditional part of a hypothetical proposition; as, If the earth is fixed, the
sun must move. (b) The first of the two propositions which constitute an enthymeme or contracted
syllogism; as, Every man is mortal; therefore the king must die.
6. (Math.) The first of the two terms of a ratio; the first or third of the four terms of a proportion. In the
ratio a:b, a is the antecedent, and b the consequent.