Definition of predecessor in English:



  • 1A person who held a job or office before the current holder.

    ‘the new President's foreign policy is very similar to that of his predecessor’
    • ‘Watching it all will be his predecessor, currently holed up in Australia, unable to get back home.’
    • ‘Very few composers in this period have wasted time in crowing over the internal contradictions of their predecessors.’
    • ‘Just over three years ago, one of Father Marvin's predecessors was assaulted by a woman demanding money.’
    • ‘Unlike the majority of their predecessors, the officials were on the whole rather fair.’
    • ‘Our predecessors, as journalists and readers, were far less squeamish.’
    • ‘In this context comparisons to his great predecessor in office do not seem to me absurd.’
    • ‘Her predecessor had apparently turned her office into a cosy front room, complete with a fireplace.’
    • ‘Harrigan's predecessors helped establish corporate governance as a force for change.’
    • ‘Some might say the big screen, as much as anything else, contributed to his predecessor's downfall.’
    • ‘Yes, the current York City chairman and his predecessor are very different men.’
    • ‘I also found out that my female predecessors were of pioneering stock.’
    • ‘If they are as harsh in judging us as we are in judging our predecessors, then we will certainly be condemned.’
    • ‘As such, she may be given the second chance denied to her predecessors.’
    • ‘When I started this job my predecessor left me a guide which I referred to constantly for the first few weeks.’
    • ‘However, the manner in which his predecessors vacated the manager's office has left a bitter taste in some quarters.’
    • ‘Goldie provides an interesting contrast with her predecessor when it comes to people skills.’
    • ‘Critics say he is more militant than his predecessor.’
    former holder of the post, previous holder of the post, forerunner, precursor, antecedent
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A thing that has been followed or replaced by another.
      ‘the chapel was built in 1864 on the site of its predecessor’
      • ‘The replacement machine is about a quarter smaller than its predecessor and cheaper.’
      • ‘Sadly this current production is unlikely to follow in it's predecessor's footsteps.’
      • ‘However, as with its famous predecessor Napster, downloading music from the site is illegal.’
      • ‘The road bridge was built over the town's railway line to replace its predecessor, because of safety concerns.’
      • ‘The interior is a significant improvement over its predecessor in terms of overall design.’
      • ‘The Life of Pi seems to have as many literary predecessors as India has religions.’
      • ‘During this time the temple was rebuilt following the demolition of its predecessor.’
      • ‘The old pavilion had been knocked down to be replaced by a new structure in the style of its predecessor.’
      • ‘Two years ago, the Competition Authority decided to take up where its predecessor left off.’
      • ‘In this context, such systems will inevitably replace their paper based predecessors.’
      • ‘China has been negotiating for 15 years to join the 141-nation WTO and its predecessor organization.’
      • ‘I have not doubt this one will outsell its predecessor.’
      • ‘It is crowned with a stone shell keep of about 1300, which replaced a timber predecessor.’
      • ‘The government has followed the path of its predecessor by forgetting it's role in an actual democracy.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin praedecessor, from Latin prae ‘beforehand’ + decessor ‘retiring officer’ (from decedere ‘depart’).