Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To take the place of; replace.
  • transitive v. To cause to be set aside, especially to displace as inferior or antiquated. See Synonyms at replace.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Set (something) aside.
  • v. Take the place of.
  • v. Displace in favour of another.
  • n. An updated newsgroup post that supersedes an earlier version.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To come, or be placed, in the room of; to replace.
  • transitive v. To displace, or set aside, and put another in place of.
  • transitive v. To make void, inefficacious, or useless, by superior power, or by coming in the place of; to set aside; to render unnecessary; to suspend; to stay.
  • transitive v. To omit; to forbear.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make void, inefficacious, or useless by superior power, or by coming in the place of; set aside; render unnecessary; suspend; stay.
  • To be placed in or take the room of; displace; supplant; replace: as, an officer superseded by another.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. take the place or move into the position of

Etymologies

Middle English superceden, to postpone, from Old French superceder, from Latin supersedēre, to refrain from : super-, super- + sedēre, to sit; see sed- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French superseder ("postpone, defer"), from Latin supersedere, from super ("over") + sedere ("to sit"). The meaning “to replace” is from 1642, probably by association with unrelated precede – note that ‘c’ instead of ‘s’ (from cedere ("to go"), not sedere ("to sit")). As a result, supercede is a common misspelling – see therein for further discussion. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • I hope your intention is that supercede is the misspelling!

    There's some brief exploration of the etymology and the reasons for the s/c muddiness here.

    April 24, 2008

  • This is probably the word most frequently misspelled (by educated people) that would inevitably be caught by running a spellcheck.

    April 24, 2008