The noun predecessor means someone who had a job or position before someone else. It also means something that comes before another thing in time or in a series.

Synonyms are ancestor, forebear, prior, or former.

The word origins from Old French (late 14th century) predecesseor meaning “forebear”. It also comes directly from Late Latin praedecessorem (nominative praedecessor) and Latin prae meaning “before” plus decessor meaning “retiring official”.

Today’s chat messaging is a much faster form of communication than its predecessors.

The product, like its two predecessors, has a little chance to be marketable.

Her predecessor seemed much wiser.