pred·e·ces·sor (prĕdĭ-sĕs′ər, prēdĭ-)
1. One who precedes another in time, especially in holding an office or position.
2. Something that has been succeeded by another: The new building is more spacious than its predecessor.
3. An ancestor; a forebear.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.