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