Definition of precedence in US English:



  • 1The condition of being considered more important than someone or something else; priority in importance, order, or rank.

    ‘his desire for power soon took precedence over any other consideration’
    • ‘If it becomes, in effect, a European Union constitution, it will take legal precedence over our own.’
    • ‘But almost as soon as he arrived in England, Philip was accorded precedence over Mary.’
    • ‘For most of them the interests of the established Church took precedence over sentimental attachment to the Stuart dynasty.’
    • ‘This new possibility took precedence over the offer he had been preparing to make the others.’
    • ‘The new popular context of images took precedence over the origin of the representation.’
    • ‘However, on their last album before this, silence took precedence over noise.’
    • ‘Russian laws were given precedence over laws passed by the Finnish Diet.’
    • ‘So nuances of gravel and green olive took precedence over plums and berries.’
    • ‘But the urge to entertain took precedence over basic common sense.’
    • ‘These skills took precedence over more craft-based or manufacturing work skills.’
    • ‘Their needs were always paramount in his thoughts and took precedence over everything else in his life.’
    • ‘He felt that an individual's character took precedence over what they looked like.’
    • ‘For a glorious few minutes at Knock Airport on Friday evening, the humble bike took precedence over the big plane.’
    • ‘He believes that the Bible's authority takes absolute precedence over man's opinions.’
    • ‘Should property rights be given precedence over human rights or society's need to protect nature?’
    • ‘Power generation was given precedence because thermal power was in great demand in summer.’
    • ‘Getting things done properly took precedence over getting them done quickly.’
    • ‘And that is the profit imperative taking precedence over everything else.’
    • ‘The profit of the nation took absolute precedence over the companies.’
    • ‘It was a war in which close air support and interdiction often took precedence over strategic attack.’
    take priority over, be considered more important than, be considered more urgent than, outweigh, supersede, prevail over, come before
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    1. 1.1 The order to be ceremonially observed by people of different rank, according to an acknowledged or legally determined system.
      ‘quarrels over precedence among the Bonaparte family marred the coronation’
      • ‘If a player can place a tile, they must do so in their turn, according to these precedence rules.’
      • ‘The controversy over precedence must be understood in this context.’
      • ‘If you want to set precedence in a case, alternative dispute resolution methods may not be the answer.’
      • ‘Either the people of this country decided the precedence accorded to the parties, or they did not.’
      • ‘This order of precedence can be important if both teams are close to winning.’
      • ‘Just as in a ceremony there is an order of precedence, so also in news.’
      • ‘The order of precedence among legal heirs is defined by the degree of proximity of kinship.’
      • ‘Arguments about ceremonial precedence, like those affecting professional competence, were about power.’
      • ‘Each cardinal approaches the altar, according to the order of precedence.’
      priority, pre-eminence, rank, seniority, superiority, primacy, first place, pride of place, eminence, supremacy, ascendancy, preference
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