v. pre·ced·ed, pre·ced·ing, pre·cedes
1. To come, exist, or occur before in time: A lecture preceded the movie.
2. To be in front of or prior to in order: A precedes B in the alphabet.
3. To go in advance of: A marching band preceded the float.
4. To preface; introduce: preceded her lecture with a funny anecdote.
To be before in time, order, or position.
[Middle English preceden, from Old French preceder, from Latin praecēdere : prae-, pre- + cēdere, to go; see ked- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.