(1) Located before or toward the front or head. (2) Coming before in time or development.
She joined the first-class passengers in the plane's anterior section and was delighted to recognize the governor in the next seat.
Anterior tends to appear in either technical or learned contexts. Anatomy books refer to the anterior lobe of the brain, the anterior cerebral artery, the anterior facial vein, etc. When used to refer to an earlier position in time or order, anterior is a somewhat formal word. Supporters of states' rights point out that the states enjoyed certain rights anterior to their joining the union. Prenuptial agreements are generally designed to protect the assets that one or both parties acquired anterior to the marriage.