The act of going before in time, rank, dignity or the place of honour; the foremost place in a ceremony; superiority.
- Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914. (noun) (n.) (noun)
preceding in time
- Wordnet Dictionary DB (noun) (n.) (noun)
State of going or being before; priority; the right to a more honourable place.
- Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874. (noun) (n.) (noun)
The act or right of going before; superiority in rank. Also, precedency.
- The Winston Simplified Dictionary. By William Dodge Lewis, Edgar Arthur Singer. Published 1919. (noun) (n.) (noun)
Priority; superior rank or importance.
- The Clarendon dictionary. By William Hand Browne, Samuel Stehman Haldeman. Published 1894. (noun) (n.) (noun)

Usage examples:

The rules of official precedence are strictly observed in appellate courts.
- The American Judiciary by Simeon E. Baldwin, LLD
For an instance, in 1812, where Joseph insisted on his mother taking precedence of Josephine at a dinner in his house, when Napoleon settled the matter by seizing Josephine's arm and leading her in first, to the consternation of the party.
- The Project Gutenberg Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte by Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton
Questions of precedence salutes, and etiquette are as the very breath of their nostrils to the Indian nobility.
- Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official by William Sleeman