Meaning of precursor in English:


Pronunciation /prɪˈkəːsə/

See synonyms for precursor

Translate precursor into Spanish


  • 1A person or thing that comes before another of the same kind; a forerunner.

    ‘a three-stringed precursor of the violin’
    • ‘In so doing, Coram created London's first art gallery, a precursor of the Royal Academy.’
    • ‘The pre-meal selection of chutneys is a precursor of the sharp flavours to come.’
    • ‘What appeals to me is that it's a precursor of Pinter and a follower of Coward.’
    • ‘Bond's preoccupation with brand names made him a precursor of the consumer society.’
    • ‘It therefore formed a precursor of the Renaissance court.’
    • ‘This monologue dates from 1977, and it is perhaps most interesting as a precursor of the author's later and better work.’
    • ‘In the Netherlands, shared care models have acted as a precursor of the recently introduced concept of disease management.’
    • ‘This is a precursor of the modern Spaghetti alla carbonara, one of the most popular pasta dishes, but of obscure origin.’
    • ‘The clicking noise is normally a precursor of a lost/broken rivet and should be regarded as a warning sign.’
    • ‘This took place in 1922, and was a precursor of the show trials of the following decades.’
    • ‘On the one hand, alchemy is regarded as a precursor of the modern science of chemistry.’
    • ‘Companies can be guided by key lead indicators which have historically been a precursor of a change in activity levels for their business sector.’
    • ‘As the first venture develops it is the precursor of what may become a new niche in the travel industry and in holiday home real estate.’
    • ‘It was an obvious precursor of today's great intermediary, money, in such forms as bank credit.’
    • ‘Hubris has most clearly set in and hubris is the precursor of the end.’
    forerunner, predecessor, forefather, father, parent, antecedent, ancestor, forebear, progenitor
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A substance from which another is formed, especially by metabolic reaction.
      ‘pepsinogen is the inactive precursor of pepsin’
      • ‘Plant substances make precursors of human sex hormones that can be converted in the body.’
      • ‘The plaque is an accumulation of amino acid protein precursors called A-Beta.’
      • ‘It also contains various plant steroids that serve as hormone precursors as well as vitamin B 12 and carotene.’
      • ‘Meat contains cholesterol, a precursor to many hormones, including testosterone.’
      • ‘It is also the precursor for sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.’


Late Middle English from Latin praecursor, from praecurs- ‘preceded’, from praecurrere, from prae ‘beforehand’ + currere ‘to run’.