Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

precedent

noun
     
Related topics: Law
pre‧ce‧dent
1 [countable]SCL an action or official decision that can be used to give support to later actions or decisions:
set/create a precedent
UN involvement in the country's affairs would set a dangerous precedent.
precedent for
precedents for what courts will accept as 'fair'
2 [uncountable and countable] something of the same type that has happened or existed before
precedent for
There's not much precedent for men taking leave when their baby is born.
without precedent
An epidemic on this scale is without precedent.
3 [uncountable] the way that things have always been done
break with precedent (=do something in a new way)

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