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Dictionary definition for: Precedent

1. (n) an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a later time

2. (s) preceding in time, order, or significance

3. (n) (civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial decisions

4. (n) a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents rather than statutory laws; "common law originated in the unwritten laws of England and was later applied in the United States"

5. (n) a subject mentioned earlier (preceding in time)

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