This page has two definitions of precedence in English. Precedence is a noun. Examples of how to use precedence in a sentence are shown. Also define these 4 related words and terms: preceding, importance, priority, and precedent.
From Middle French précédence (“the state of preceding, anteriority”).
- The state of preceding in importance or priority.
- Family takes precedence over work, in an emergency.
- 1922, Lewis, Sinclair, “Chapter VI - III”, in Babbitt, New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., pages 74-75:
- In the city of Zenith, in the barbarous twentieth century, a family's motor indicated its social rank as precisely as the grades of the peerage determined the rank of an English family—indeed, more precisely, considering the opinion of old county families upon newly created brewery barons and woolen-mill viscounts. The details of precedence were never officially determined.
- 1936, Stark, Freya, chapter II, in The Southern Gates of Arabia: A Journey in the Hadhramaut, New York: Dutton, page 28:
- he saw to my twelve packages on one hand while on the other he dealt with the Emir of the Sea, the harbour master, who in a green gown and yellow turban, was demanding precedence of some sort.
- 1938, Herbert, Xavier, chapter X, in Capricornia, New York: D. Appleton-Century, published 1943, page 163:
- The orderlies, only too well aware of the niceties of the colour-conscious system that prevailed, debated, then sent one of their number to ask the matron what should be done. The matron said that Cho must give precedence. He was laid on the concrete floor.
- 1986 June 6, Richard Feynman, “Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle”, in Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, Report to the President:
- For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
- 2014, Davies, Janet, chapter 5, in The Welsh Language: A History, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pages 61-2:
- The provincial eisteddfodau, with their reliance on upper-class patronage, tended to give precedence to English, but the smaller ones were conducted entirely in Welsh.
- 2020 December 2, Philip Haigh, “A winter of discontent caused by threat of union action”, in Rail, page 63:
- The memorandum of understanding between the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, the Office of Rail and Road and the police states: "In the absence of a clear indication that serious criminality has caused the accident, RAIB will normally have precedence in respect of the investigation and will assume lead responsibility for the investigation."
Priority definitionAn item's relative importance. (1 of 6 priority definitions)
- 2004, Jackson, Paul, chapter 3, in One of the Boys: Homosexuality in the Military during World War II, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, page 127:
- If such cases did exist, they seem not to have been committed to paper. Psychiatrists, in such circumstances, may have followed the precedence of their spiritual forebears—religious confessors—in respecting the privacy of their patients.
Precedent definitionAn act in the past which may be used as an example to help decide the outcome of similar instances in the future. (1 of 6 precedent definitions)
- (state of preceding): See Thesaurus:anteriority
- The more important entity is said to take precedence over (or, in older texts, take precedence of) the less important.