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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (3)

1. status established in order of importance or urgency;
- Example: "...its precedence as the world's leading manufacturer of pharmaceuticals"
- Example: "national independence takes priority over class struggle"
[syn: precedence, precedency, priority]

2. preceding in time;
[syn: priority, antecedence, antecedency, anteriority, precedence, precedency]

3. the act of preceding in time or order or rank (as in a ceremony);
[syn: precession, precedence, precedency]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Precedence \Pre*ced"ence\, Precedency \Pre*ced"en*cy\, n. [Cf. F. pr['e]c['e]dence. See Precede.] 1. The act or state of preceding or going before in order of time; priority; as, one event has precedence of another. [1913 Webster] 2. The act or state of going or being before in rank or dignity, or the place of honor; right to a more honorable place; superior rank; as, barons have precedence of commoners. [1913 Webster] Which of them [the different desires] has the precedency in determining the will to the next action? --Locke. [1913 Webster] Syn: Antecedence; priority; pre["e]minence; preference; superiority. [1913 Webster]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

106 Moby Thesaurus words for "precedence": accent, accomplishment, antecedence, antecedency, antedate, antedating, anteposition, anteriority, anticipation, ascendancy, authority, caste, class, concern, concernment, condition, consequence, consequentiality, consideration, deanship, earlier state, earliness, echelon, eminence, emphasis, excellence, favor, footing, foregoing, front, greatness, heading, hierarchy, high order, high rank, import, importance, incomparability, influence, influentialness, inimitability, interest, le pas, lead, leading, majority, mark, materiality, merit, moment, note, one-upmanship, order, paramountcy, past time, place, position, power structure, precedency, preceding, precession, precursor, predating, predominance, predomination, preeminence, preexistence, preference, preponderance, prepotence, prepotency, prerogative, pressure, prestige, primacy, priority, privilege, prominence, rank, rate, rating, right-of-way, self-importance, seniority, significance, skill, sphere, stage, standing, station, stature, status, status quo ante, stress, success, superiority, supremacy, the lead, transcendence, transcendency, value, van, virtuosity, weight, weightiness, worth