I'm looking for a noun to describe an object that was superseded.

For example let's say you have a health insurance policy. We will call it policy 'A'. Your insurance company cancels that policy and issues you a replacement one. We will call the new policy 'B'.

Policy B superseded policy A.

Is there a noun that describes policy A in this context?

Another Example:

Didi Gregorious superseded Derek Jeter as the NY Yankees shortstop.

You can use the noun replacement to describe Didi Gregorious. As in "Didi Gregorious was Derek Jeter's replacement".

What noun could you use to describe Derek Jeter in this context?

  • I'm positive I'm looking for a noun. I'll update the question to provide another example.
    – Aheho
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 20:29
  • Precursor is pretty good.
    – Aheho
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 20:58
  • 2
    I'd be tempted to keep it simple and just call it the previous version of the policy. Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 10:59
  • Could you please give other examples to show why such a need exists. Let me explain. I have a passport. In my lifetime my passport has been updated several times. The version I have is still my passport. Lapsed versions I may have kept, and so they are not my current passports. Why would I need special noun? Similarly, my health insurance policy has been updated from time to time, and, indeed, a second company has recently acquired it: but it is still just "my health insurance policy". I am now a different version of myself from the one that was at school and at university.
    – Tuffy
    Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 14:11

5 Answers 5


Of nouns, these might work:

pred·e·ces·sor (prĕd′ĭ-sĕs′ər, prē′dĭ-) n.
1. One who precedes another in time, especially in holding an office or position.
2. Something that has been succeeded by another: The new building is more spacious than its predecessor.

pre·cur·sor (prĭ-kûr′sər, prē′kûr′sər) n.
1. One that precedes and indicates, suggests, or announces someone or something to come: Colonial opposition to unfair taxation by the British was a precursor of the Revolution.
2. One that precedes another; a forerunner or predecessor: The new principal's precursor was an eminent educator.

an·te·ce·dent (ăn′tĭ-sēd′nt) n.
1. One that precedes another.

[American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved December 8 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/antecedent .]

  • 2
    Precursor slightly suggests cause and effect. Therefore "Antecedent" is the best answer so far.
    – Aheho
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 21:06
  • With the possible exception of George Will, I'm having a difficult time imagining any sports commentator referring to Derek as Didi's antecedent.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 20:04

Policy "A' is void.

  • void (adjective) = of no legal force or effect : null e.g. "a void contract"

You could also say it is invalid or null.

If you mean "someone" who has been replaced, a replacee may fit.

  • replacee [plural replacees]: That which is replaced.


  • I'm looking for a noun that suggests "has been replaced" rather than void.
    – Aheho
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 20:57
  • Replacee is decent.
    – Aheho
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 21:15
  • 1
    Would you use replacee for the policy? I can see it being used for a person, but not for a thing.
    – ab2
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 22:43
  • @ab2 I'm not sure I would use the word at all but a quick search in Google Books hasn't shown any examples of it being used for a thing.
    – Centaurus
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 22:54
  • @Centaurus See english.stackexchange.com/questions/260651/… for discussion of this point, which can be summarized as: -ee is not used for a thing, e.g., when you dunk a doughnut, the doughnut is not a dunkee. The Accepted Answer on this question is good.
    – ab2
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 23:05

Another late answer, just in case it helps.

obsolete (From M-W):

no longer used because something newer exists : replaced by something newer

Examples of obsolete in a sentence:

I never had parents, really. My mom was gone, my dad was at work or with his girlfriends, we had baby-sitters. My parents were obsolete. —Jonathan Kozol, Voices From the Future, 1993

The system was made obsolete by their invention.

I was told my old printer is obsolete and I can't get replacement parts.


I would like to propose the word: erstwhile



"the erstwhile president of the company"

Although there maybe some ambiguity as to whether the subject was directly succeeded by the replacer or not, it is a decent approximation.

  • Hello, Rko. Yes, I'd use 'former' or 'previous [and now obsolete]'. But the question asks expressly for a noun. Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 14:05

I know this is a bit late but it may help someone else. I was looking for something similar and went with the word supplantation.

To supplant is

to supersede (another) especially by force or treachery

to eradicate and supply a substitute for efforts to supplant the vernacular

to take the place of and serve as a substitute for especially by reason of superior excellence or power

  • Or supersession, which I believe is actually the noun of supersede.
    – timmy
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 11:00
  • I think you might have misunderstood the question, which asks for a word to describe the person or thing being supplanted, rather than describing the act or process of supplanting. Ditto for "supersession". PS: instead of using Comments to provide further suggestions or detail, it's good practice to add this material directly into your answer. :-) Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 11:17

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