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precedent
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Gulliver's Travels
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precedent -- as in: sets a precedent
Used In
Gulliver's Travels
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  • Whether they had ever, at different times, pleaded for and against the same cause, and cited precedents to prove contrary opinions?
  • As to the decision of civil causes, or proceedings against criminals, their precedents are so few, that they have little reason to boast of any extraordinary skill in either.
  • These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities to justify the most iniquitous opinions; and the judges never fail of directing accordingly.
  • For instance, in the case already mentioned; they never desire to know what claim or title my adversary has to my cow; but whether the said cow were red or black; her horns long or short; whether the field I graze her in be round or square; whether she was milked at home or abroad; what diseases she is subject to, and the like; after which they consult precedents, adjourn the cause from time to time, and in ten, twenty, or thirty years, come to an issue.

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  • Precedent set by the Supreme Court must be followed by all lower courts.
  • It could happen—possibly, unlikely, but there is precedent—that the river might sweep my body all the way to the ocean.
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl

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