Meaning of precedent

prec•e•dent

Pronunciation: (n.pres'i-duntadj.pri-sēd'nt, pres'i-dunt), [key]
— n.
  1. a legal decision or form of proceeding serving as an authoritative rule or pattern in future similar or analogous cases.
  2. any act, decision, or case that serves as a guide or justification for subsequent situations.
—adj.
  1. preceding; anterior.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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