1. an event preceding or occasioning another event - setting the stage for a particular response. 2. In linguistics, the noun or pronoun to whom the phrase refers (for example, train in the sentence: the train was late tonight). 3. In a proposition, this refers to the if part that is then followed by the then part. For example, in the sentence: If John is a man, then he will eventually die, if John is a man is the antecedent. Also known as protasis. See also affirming the antecedent- denying the antecedent.
ANTECEDENT: "The antecedent for his or her crying behavior is the other child snatching his or her toy. "