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“Proceed” vs “Precede” : Understanding the difference with examples

"Proceed" and "precede"are two commonly used words that are often confused due to their similar kind of spelling and pronunciation. “Proceed” refers to moving forward and “Precede” means to come before something in time. Below in the entire article we will explore the definition of proceed and precede its usage with examples.

Proceed vs Precede

Define precede

As per merriam-webster dictionary is a verb which comes before something in time, order or rank. Precede is used to indicate that one thing comes prior to another.

As per merriam-webster dictionary, precede synonyms are “predate”, “antedate” & “forego” however the opposite of precede are “follow”, “succeed” and “postdate”.

Define proceed

The dictionary provides the proceed definition as the act of continuing or advancing, often with a specific purpose in mind. In simple words “Proceed” is also a verb that means to move forward or to continue with some actions. It is often associated with the idea of progressing or advancing.

Proceed meaning is to move forward hence proceed synonym can be “advance” or “progress” and its antonyms are “remain”, “stop” etc.

Here are some examples of how "proceed" and “precede” can be used in sentences:


1. Please proceed to the next stage of the competition.

2. After careful consideration, we have decided to proceed with the project.

3. The meeting will proceed as scheduled.


​1. The appetizers will precede the main course.

2. The introduction should precede the body paragraphs in an essay.

3. The discovery of electricity preceded the invention of the light bulb.

Proceed vs Precede: Its practical usage

The pronunciation of these two words sounds similar but there is a very thin line of difference. Proceed is pronounced PRO-seed, while precede is pronounced PRUH-seed.

The word "proceed" is commonly used to indicate the action of moving forward or continuing with something.

The word "precede" is commonly used to indicate that something comes before or takes place prior to another thing or event.

Things to remember proceed vs. precede

1. Focus on the Direction: Think of "proceed" as moving forward or continuing with a course of action. It implies progress or advancement. On the other hand, "precede" emphasizes something coming before or going ahead of another in terms of order, position, or time.

2. Sequential vs. Antecedent: When considering the order of events, use "precede" to describe something that comes before or precedes another event. It establishes a sequence or chronological order. In contrast, "proceed" refers to the act of moving forward, often in a planned or intentional manner.

3. Contextual Clues: Pay attention to the context in which these words are used. "Proceed" is frequently employed in instructions, formal settings, or when describing the continuation of a process. "Precede," on the other hand, finds its place when discussing historical events, spatial arrangements, or providing a temporal order of occurrences.

4. Visualize with Examples: Visualize scenarios where each word fits naturally. For example, imagine a line of people waiting to board a plane. The people who come before you in the line "precede" you. When it's your turn to board, you "proceed" down the aisle. Associating the words with concrete examples can aid in solidifying their meanings in your mind.

5. Consult Dictionaries: If you encounter uncertainty, consult reputable dictionaries or language resources. The Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and Cambridge Dictionary can provide comprehensive definitions and usage examples to clarify any confusion.

Examples of "proceed" and "precede

Examples of "proceed":

After submitting your application, the hiring manager will review it and then proceed with scheduling an interview.

The project team completed the initial research phase and is now ready to proceed to the next stage of development.

The speaker asked the audience to hold their questions until the end of the presentation and then proceeded to discuss the main findings.

Before we can proceed with the assembly, make sure all the necessary components are available.

Once the payment is confirmed, your order will proceed to the shipping department for processing.

Examples of "precede":

The thunderstorm was preceded by dark clouds and strong winds, indicating the approaching bad weather.

In most cultures, a formal wedding ceremony is preceded by a rehearsal to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

The professor's lecture on symbolism in literature was preceded by a brief overview of the author's background.

The opening act of the play precedes the main performance, setting the stage for the audience.

Please note that the terms and conditions of the agreement must be read and accepted before you precede with the registration process.

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