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Definition of precedent:

  1. Going before in time; former; previous.
  2. That may serve as an example or rule to be followed in future actions of the like kind; that which has been done before of a like kind; an authority, or a judicial decision to be followed in similar or analogous cases.

Synonyms:

reason, model, acquit, agent, precede, fountain, preceding, previous, origin, advance, obiter dictum, power, occasion, authority, anterior, warrant, instance, case law, appeal, acquittal, cause, causality, pattern, motive, example, case, past, bring in a verdict, prior, author, bar, class action, antecedent, foregoing, creator, designer, former, award, action, annul, exemplar, case in point, example, criterion, template, time, condition, common-law, pattern, earlier, the personification of something, spring, same, court, charge, source, committal, case, stereotype, citation, actor, causation, call for, court-martial, dissent, instance, archetype.

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