A precondition is a prerequisite. It’s the thing that has to happen before something else happens. For example, as a precondition to getting your allowance, you might have to give the dog a hairdo once a week.

Precondition is often used in the negative – when world leaders meet to discuss something, they might ask for no preconditions. Clean slate. On the other hand, good grades are sometimes a precondition for joining the school basketball team. Applying for a new job can be frustrating when you realize that experience is a precondition, but you’re not sure how to get the experience without getting a job. When it’s a verb, precondition means to prepare something (or someone).

Definitions of precondition
  1. noun

    a condition that is a prerequisite

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    type of:

    prerequisite, requirement

    something that is required in advance

  2. noun

    an assumption on which rests the validity or effect of something else

    condition, stipulation
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    boundary condition

    (mathematics) a condition specified for the solution to a set of differential equations
    provision, proviso

    a stipulated condition
    type of:

    assumption, premise, premiss

    a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn

  3. noun

    an assumption that is taken for granted

    given, presumption
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    type of:

    assumption, supposal, supposition

    a hypothesis that is taken for granted

  4. verb

    put into the required condition beforehand

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    type of:

    fix, gear up, prepare, ready, set, set up

    make ready or suitable or equip in advance for a particular purpose or for some use, event, etc

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