I can't think of the word to fill this blank:

More importantly, now we've got ourselves an "organic" roadmap—that is, one that follows the natural order of our concerns, rather than a logical order such as ____.

Though unrelated to my context, an example of such an ordering would be:

  1. a bride and groom
  2. a wedding
  3. a wedding cake

A wedding cake wouldn't exist without a wedding, which in turn wouldn't exist without its bride and groom. (I'm sorry, the real example is technical and complex, and I can't think of a better example at 3 in the morning.)

I want to say predecession but that's not a real word. Does anyone know the word I'm looking for?

  • Okay, I can see that if we're being pedantic, a wedding cake may exist outside of a wedding, and a bride and groom is really only a bride and groom in the context of a wedding. Regarding the latter, we can say I mean a couple. Regarding the former, let's just try to understand what I mean :-) Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 10:02
  • 1
    Co-existant? Co-dependent?
    – Ronan
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 10:07
  • I thought of, simply, dependence, and technically that works, but for some reason I'm convinced there's a word that starts with a 'p'. (But it may not after all.) Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 10:09
  • 2
    Perhaps, contingent? Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 10:38
  • @JasperLocke - Oh, that's a great one! I'd upvote if you posted it. Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 10:39

8 Answers 8


A prerequisite is something that must exist for another to exist.

  • 1
    Ah, thank you! I think that's it—and it was so obvious! Let me wait a few more hours though, in case someone comes up with a word that strikes even truer to me. Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 10:10
  • In the software world (and especially in the world of build systems), prerequisite and dependency are (often) complementary terms, so the latter is probably worth mentioning here. Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 19:42

Perhaps, contingency/contingent? Maybe this definition for contingency:

a future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty

and this one for contingent:

occurring or existing only if (certain other circumstances) are the case; dependent on

EDIT: I just thought of this one after I had posted, but it could also be conditional.

subject to one or more conditions or requirements being met; made or granted on certain terms


Given the statement "Logically, A can't exist or occur without B", then to describe A 's relationship to B, you'd say "A is a prerequisite of B" (as @JasperLoy answered).

By contrast, if you wanted to describe B 's relationship to A, you'd say "B is predicated on A" (which sounds a lot like your "predecession" to me).


There is a Latin term used by English speakers, sine qua non. Translated literally, it means something like "without which not."


Anaclitic - Relating to or characterized by a strong emotional dependence on another or others.
As defined by Oxford Dictionaries Online.

In psychology, we use it to define the relation you described, often with features or symptoms like "anaclitic happiness" or "anaclitic pain."

But it can be extended to non-emotional features in informal conversations.

The noun "anaclisis," however, broadly means a relationship characterized by the strong dependence of one person on others or another. It encompasses physical and non physical features or status.

  • I think if you were to use the word "anaclitic" in a conversation, all you would get would be blank stares. Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 13:13
  • 1
    More likely a mix of blank stares and suppressed snickers. Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 6:49

I agree that prerequisite is the best fit, but instead of predecession, predecessor is likely the word you were missing.


While the accepted answer is a good fit for your title question, it doesn't seem to quite match the blank.

It isn't a single word, but in your example, I would fill the blank with a predetermined sequence. Alternatively either a determined sequence or a contingent sequence.


Amazingly the mathematical phenomenon 'mutually exclusive' (meaning that if A= B, B does not necessarily equal A), exists only if A cannot exist without B..? You think?

  • = does actually mean B equals A, we have A implies B doesn't mean B implies A, for example all tomatoes are red doesn't mean all red things are tomatoes. (i know tomatoes can be green...)
    – JMP
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 3:48
  • No I don't think. "Mutually exclusive" is not a mathematical phenomenon. Mathematically, if A=B then B=A due to commutativity.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 12:50

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