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precursor (noun) forerunner

A precursor is a person or thing that comes before something similar that comes later and influences its development. We say, for example, that the electronic calculator is the precursor of the computer. That is, the calculator indicated the arrival of the advanced machine, the computer. The wireless is the precursor of the wireless receiving set, usually called the radio.

  • The ordinary rocket is the precursor of the space rocket. The success of the ordinary rocket made people think in terms of a rocket that can be sent into space.
  • The cassette player and recorder is the precursor of the CD and DVD players that are in wide use now.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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