What does antecedent mean?
The definition of antecedent
An`te*ced”ent, a.
Etym: [L. antecedens, -entis, p. pr. of antecedere: cf. F. antécédent.]

1 Going before in time; prior; anterior; preceding; as, an event antecedent to the Deluge; an antecedent cause.
2 Presumptive; as, an antecedent improbability.

— Prior; previous; foregoing.

An`te*ced”ent, n.
Etym: [Cf. F. antécédent.]

1 That which goes before in time; that which precedes. South. The Homeric mythology, as well as the Homeric language, has surely its antecedents. Max Miller.
2 One who precedes or goes in front. [Obs.] My antecedent, or my gentleman usher. Massinger.
3 pl.
The earlier events of one’s life; previous principles, conduct, course, history. J. H. Newman. If the troops . . . prove worthy of their antecedents, the victory is surely ours. Gen. G. McClellan.
4 (Gram.)
The noun to which a relative refers; as, in the sentence “Solomon was the prince who built the temple,” prince is the antecedent of who.
5 (Logic)

(a) The first or conditional part of a hypothetical proposition; as, If the earth is fixed, the sun must move.
(b) The first of the two propositions which constitute an enthymeme or contracted syllogism; as, Every man is mortal; therefore the king must die.

6 (Math.)
The first of the two terms of a ratio; the first or third of the four terms of a proportion. In the ratio a:b, a is the antecedent, and b the consequent.