powdery (adj.)
early 15c., from powder (n.) + -y (2).
power (n.)
c.1300, "ability; ability to act or do; strength, vigor, might," especially in battle; "efficacy; control, mastery, lordship, dominion; legal power or authority; authorization; military force, an army," from Anglo-French pouair, Old French povoir, noun use of the infinitive, "to be able," earlier podir (9c.), from Vulgar Latin *potere, from Latin potis "powerful" (see potent).
Whatever some hypocritical ministers of government may say about it, power is the greatest of all pleasures. It seems to me that only love can beat it, and love is a happy illness that can't be picked up as easily as a Ministry. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]
Meaning "one who has power" is late 14c. Meaning "specific ability or capacity" is from early 15c. Meaning "a state or nation with regard to international authority or influence" [OED] is from 1726. Used for "a large number of" from 1660s. Meaning "energy available for work is from 1727. Sense of "electrical supply" is from 1896.

Phrase the powers that be is from Rom. xiii:1. As a statement wishing good luck, more power to (someone) is recorded from 1842. A power play in ice hockey so called by 1940. Power failure is from 1911; power steering from 1921.
power (v.)
"to supply with power," 1898, from power (n.). Earlier it meant "make powerful" (1530s). Related: Powered; powering.
power-broker (n.)
1961, apparently coined by T.H. White in reference to the 1960 U.S. presidential election; from power (n.) + broker (n.).
powerful (adj.)
c.1400, from power (n.) + -ful. Meaning "of great quality or number" is from 1811; colloquial sense of "exceedingly" (adv.) is from 1822. Related: Powerfully. Thornton ("American Glossary") notes powerful as "Much used by common people in the sense of very," along with monstrous and cites curious expressions such as devilish good, monstrous pretty (1799), dreadful polite, cruel pretty, abominable fine (1803), "or when a young lady admires a lap dog for being so vastly small and declares him prodigious handsome" (1799).
powerhouse (n.)
1873, "building where power is generated," from power (n.) + house (n.). Figurative sense is from 1913.
powerless (adj.)
early 15c., "lacking might or fortitude," from power (n.) + -less. Related: Powerlessly; powerlessness.
PowerPoint (n.)
Microsoft computer slide show program, 1987.
powwow (n.)
1620s, "priest, sorcerer," from a southern New England Algonquian language (probably Narragansett) powwaw "shaman, medicine man, Indian priest," from a verb meaning "to use divination, to dream," from Proto-Algonquian *pawe:wa "he dreams, one who dreams." Meaning "magical ceremony among North American Indians" is recorded from 1660s. Sense of "council, conference, meeting" is first recorded 1812. Verb sense of "to confer, discuss" is attested from 1780.
pox (n.)
late 15c., spelling alteration of pockes, plural of pocke (see pock (n.)). Especially (after c.1500) of syphilis.
poxy (adj.)
1853 in literal sense, from pox + -y (2). As a deprecatory adjective, attested in English dialects by 1899.
poy (n.)
pole used to propel a boat, late 15c., of unknown origin.
ppm
abbreviation of parts per million, attested by 1913.
PR (n.)
also p.r.; 1942, abbreviation of public relations (see public).
practic (n.)
late 14c., "a way of doing something, method; practice, custom, usage;" also "an applied science;" from Old French practique "practice, usage" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin practica "practice, practical knowledge," ultimately from Greek praktike "practical" (as opposed to "theoretical;" see practical). From early 15c. as "practical aspect or application of something; practice as opposed to theory;" also, "knowledge of the practical aspect of something, practical experience."
practicability 1720
from practicable + -ity.
practicable (adj.)
1670s, from Middle French pratiquable (1590s), from pratiquer "to practice," from Medieval Latin practicare "to practice" (see practical). Related: practicableness (1640s).
practical (adj.)
early 15c., practicale "of or pertaining to matters of practice; applied," with -al (1) + earlier practic (adj.) "dealing with practical matters, applied, not merely theoretical" (early 15c.), or practic (n.) "method, practice, use" (late 14c.). In some cases directly from Old French practique (adj.) "fit for action," earlier pratique (13c.) and Medieval Latin practicalis, from Late Latin practicus "practical, active," from Greek praktikos "fit for action, fit for business; business-like, practical; active, effective, vigorous," from praktos "done; to be done," verbal adjective of prassein, prattein "to do, act, effect, accomplish."
practicality (n.)
1809, from practical + -ity. Related: Practicalities.
practically (adv.)
1620s, "in a practical manner," from practical + -ly (2). Meaning "for practical purposes, as good as" is from 1748; loosened sense of "almost" is from 1869.
practice (v.)
c.1400, "to do, act;" early 15c., "to follow or employ; to carry on a profession," especially medicine, from Old French pratiser, practiser "to practice," alteration of practiquer, from Medieval Latin practicare "to do, perform, practice," from Late Latin practicus "practical," from Greek praktikos "practical" (see practical).

From early 15c. as "to perform repeatedly to acquire skill, to learn by repeated performance;" mid-15c. as "to perform, to work at, exercise." Related: Practiced; practicing.
practice (n.)
early 15c., practise, "practical application," originally especially of medicine but also alchemy, education, etc.; from Old French pratiser, from Medieval Latin practicare (see practice (v.)). From early 15c. often assimilated in spelling to nouns in -ice. Also as practic, which survived in parallel into 19c.
practiced (adj.)
"expert," 1560s, past participle adjective from practice (v.).
practicing (adj.)
1620s in reference to professions; from 1906 in reference to religions; present participle adjective from practice (v.).
practicum (n.)
1904, from Late Latin practicum, neuter of practicus (see practical). Compare German praktikum.
practise
chiefly British English spelling of practice.
practitioner (n.)
1540s, a hybrid formed from practitian "practitioner" (c.1500, from French practicien, from Late Latin practicus "fit for action," see practice (v.)) on model of parishioner. Johnson has as a secondary sense "One who uses any sly or dangerous arts."
Prado (n.)
public park and promenade in Madrid, 1640s, Spanish, from Latin pratum "meadow" (see prairie). Compare Prater, large park in Vienna, German, from Italian prato "meadow." French preau "little meadow," formerly praël, Italian pratello are from Vulgar Latin *pratellum, diminutive of pratum.
prae-
word-forming element meaning "before," from Latin prae (adv.) "before," from PIE *prai-, *prei-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per; also see pre-). Reduced to pre- in Medieval Latin. According to OED the full form prae- in Modern English appears "usually only in words that are still regarded as Latin, ... or that are terms of classical antiquity ...."
praecipe (n.)
c.1500 (in Magna Carta in Anglo-Latin), from Latin praecipe, imperative of praecipere "to admonish, enjoin," from the opening words of such a writ, praecipe quod reddat "enjoin (him) that he render."
praenomen (n.)
from Latin praenomen, literally "before the name," from prae- (see pre-) + nomen (see name (n.)).
Praesepe (n.)
loose ("open") star cluster (M44) in Cancer, from Latin praesaepe the Roman name for the grouping, literally "enclosure, stall, manger, hive," from prae- (see pre-) + saepire "to fence" (see septum).

It is similar to the Hyades but more distant, about 600 light-years away, consists of about 1,000 stars, mostly older, the brightest of them around magnitude 6.5, thus not discernable to the naked eye even on the clearest nights, but their collective light makes a visible fuzz of glow that the ancients likened to a cloud (the original nebula); Galileo was the first to resolve it into stars (1609). The modern name for it in U.S. and Britain, Beehive, seems no older than 1840. Greek names included Nephelion "Little Cloud" and Akhlys "Little Mist." "In astrology, like all clusters, it threatened mischief and blindness" [Allen].

"Manger" to the Romans perhaps by influence of two nearby stars, Gamma and Delta Cancri, dim and unspectacular but both for some reason figuring largely in ancient astrology and weather forecasting, and known as "the Asses" (Latin Aselli), supposedly those of Silenus.
praeter-
see preter-.
praetor (n.)
elected magistrate in ancient Rome (subordinate to consuls), early 15c., from Latin praetor "one who goes before;" originally "a consul as leader of an army," from prae "before" (see pre-) + root of ire "to go" (see ion).
Praetorian (adj.)
early 15c., from Latin praetorianus "belonging to a praetor," from praetor (see praetor). Praetorian Guard is from cohors praetoria, the bodyguard troop of a Roman commander or emperor. Hence modern figurative use for "defenders of an existing order."
pragmatic (adj.)
1610s, "meddlesome, impertinently busy," short for earlier pragmatical, or else from Middle French pragmatique (15c.), from Latin pragmaticus "skilled in business or law," from Greek pragmatikos "fit for business, active, business-like; systematic," from pragma (genitive pragmatos) "a deed, act; that which has been done; a thing, matter, affair," especially an important one; also a euphemism for something bad or disgraceful; in plural, "circumstances, affairs" (public or private), often in a bad sense, "trouble," literally "a thing done," from stem of prassein/prattein "to do, act, perform" (see practical). Meaning "matter-of-fact" is from 1853. In some later senses from German pragmatisch.
pragmatical (adj.)
1590s, "concerned with practical results," from Latin pragmaticus (see pragmatic) + -al (1). Related: Pragmatically.
pragmaticism (n.)
1865, "officiousness," from pragmatic + -ism. From 1905 as a term in philosophy by American philosopher C.S. Peirce (1839-1914).
pragmatism (n.)
"matter-of-fact treatment," 1825, from Greek pragmat-, stem of pragma "that which has been done" (see pragmatic) + -ism. As a philosophical doctrine, 1898, said to be from 1870s; probably from German Pragmatismus. As a name for a political theory, from 1951. Related: Pragmatist (1630s as "busybody;" 1892 as "adherent of a pragmatic philosophy").
Prague
capital of the Czech Republic, Czech Praha, perhaps from an ancient Slavic word related to Czech pražiti, a term for woodland cleared by burning. Popular etymology is from Czech prah "threshold." Related: Praguean; Praguian.
prairie (n.)
tract of level or undulating grassland in North America, by 1773, from French prairie "meadow, grassland," from Old French praerie "meadow, pastureland" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *prataria, from Latin pratum "meadow," originally "a hollow." The word existed in Middle English as prayere, but was lost and reborrowed to describe the American plains. Prairie dog is attested from 1774; prairie schooner "immigrant's wagon" is from 1841. Illinois has been the Prairie State since at least 1861. In Latin, Neptunia prata was poetic for "the sea."
praise (v.)
c.1300, "to laud, commend, flatter," from Old French preisier, variant of prisier "to praise, value," from Late Latin preciare, earlier pretiare (see price (n.)). Replaced Old English lof, hreþ.

Specifically with God as an object from late 14c. Related: Praised; praising. Now a verb in most Germanic languages (German preis, Danish pris, etc.), but only in English is it differentiated in form from cognate price.
praise (n.)
early 14c., not common until 16c., from praise (v.).
praiseworthy (adj.)
mid-15c., from praise (v.) + worthy. Usually hyphenated until mid-19c. Related: Praiseworthiness.
Prakrit (n.)
popular dialect of ancient northern and central India (distinguished from Sanskrit), sometimes also applied to modern languages, 1766, from Sanskrit prakrta- "natural, original" (opposed to samskrta- "prepared, refined"), from pra- "before, forward, forth" (see pro-) + krta- "to make, do, perform," from PIE root *k(w)er- "to make, form" (related to karma).
praline (n.)
1727, prawlin, from French praline (17c.), from the name of Marshal Duplessis-Praslin (1598-1675, pronounced "praline"), "whose cook invented this confection" [Klein]. Modern spelling in English from 1809.
pram (n.)
"baby carriage," 1881, shortening of perambulator, perhaps influenced by pram "flat-bottomed boat" especially a type used in the Baltic (1540s), from Old Norse pramr, from Balto-Slavic (compare Polish prom, Russian poromu "ferryboat," Czech pram "raft"), from PIE *pro-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).
prance (v.)
late 14c., originally of horses, of unknown origin, perhaps related to Middle English pranken "to show off," from Middle Dutch pronken "to strut, parade" (see prank); or perhaps from Danish dialectal prandse "to go in a stately manner." Klein suggests Old French paravancier. Related: Pranced; prancing. As a noun from 1751, from the verb.
prancer (n.)
1560s, originally thieves' slang for "a horse," agent noun from prance (v.).
prandial (adj.)
"pertaining to dinner," 1820, from Latin prandium "late breakfast, luncheon" (see postprandial). OED reports it as "affected or jocose."