predictive (adj.) Look up predictive at
1650s, from Late Latin praedictivus, from praedict-, past participle stem of praedicere (see predict).
predictor (n.) Look up predictor at
1650s, from Medieval Latin praedictor, agent noun from praedicere (see predict). Statistical sense is from 1950.
predilection (n.) Look up predilection at
1742, from French prédilection (16c.), noun of action from Medieval Latin praedilectus, past participle of prediligere "prefer before others," from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + diligere "choose, love" (see diligent).
predispose (v.) Look up predispose at
1640s, "to put into a certain frame of mind," perhaps a back-formation from predisposition. Related: Predisposed; predisposing.
predisposition (n.) Look up predisposition at
1620s, from pre- + disposition.
prednisone (n.) Look up prednisone at
1955, probably from elements of pregnadiene (from pregnane, name of the compound from which pregnancy hormones were derived, from the Latin stem of pregnancy) + ending from cortisone.
predominance (n.) Look up predominance at
1590s; see predominant + -ance.
predominant (adj.) Look up predominant at
1570s, from Middle French prédominant (14c.), from Medieval Latin *praedominantem (nominative praedominans), present participle of *praedominare, from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + dominari "to rule, dominate, to govern," from dominus "lord, master," from domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household"). Related: Predominantly.
predominate (v.) Look up predominate at
1590s, from Medieval Latin predominatus, past participle of predominare from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + dominari "to rule, dominate, to govern," from dominus "lord, master," from domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household"). Related: Predominated; predominating; predominatingly.
preemie (n.) Look up preemie at
"baby born prematurely," 1927, premy, American English shortening of premature + -y (2). Spelling with -ie attested from 1949.
preen (v.) Look up preen at
"to trim, to dress up," late 14c., perhaps a variation of Middle English proynen, proinen "trim the feather with the beak" (see prune (v.)); or perhaps from Old French poroindre "anoint before," and Old French proignier "round off, prune." Middle English prene (from Old English preon, a general Germanic word) meant "to pin," and probably influenced the form of this word. Watkins, however, connects it with Latin unguere "to smear, anoint."

Because of the popularity of falconry, bird activities formerly were more closely observed and words for them were more precise in English than today.
Youre hawke proynith and not pikith and she prenyth not bot whan she begynnyth at hir leggys, and fetcheth moystour like oyle at hir taill. ["Book of St. Albans," 1486]
prefab (adj.) Look up prefab at
1937, short for prefabricated (see prefabricate). As a noun, "prefabricated housing," from 1942.
prefabricate (v.) Look up prefabricate at
1919 (implied in prefabricated), from pre- + fabricate (v.). Related: Prefabricating.
preface (v.) Look up preface at
1610s, from preface (n.). Related: Prefaced; prefacing.
preface (n.) Look up preface at
late 14c., from Old French preface "opening part of sung devotions" (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin prefatia, from Latin praefationem (nominative praefatio) "fore-speaking, introduction," in Medieval Latin "prologue," noun of action from past participle stem of praefari "to say beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + fari "speak," from PIE root *bhe- (2) "to speak, tell, say."
prefatory (adj.) Look up prefatory at
1670s, from Latin praefat-, past participle stem of praefari (see preface (n.)) + -ory.
prefect (n.) Look up prefect at
mid-14c., "civil or military official," from Old French prefect (12c., Modern French préfet) and directly from Latin praefectus "public overseer, superintendent, director," noun use of past participle of praeficere "to put in front, to set over, put in authority," from prae "in front, before" (see pre-) + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Spelling restored from Middle English prefet. Meaning "administrative head of the Paris police" is from 1800; meaning "senior pupil designated to keep order in an English school" is from 1864. Related: Prefectorial.
prefectural (adj.) Look up prefectural at
1807, from prefecture + -al (1).
prefecture (n.) Look up prefecture at
"administrative district of a prefect," mid-15c., from Middle French préfecture and directly from Latin praefectura, or assembled locally from prefect + -ure.
prefer (v.) Look up prefer at
late 14c., "to put forward or advance in rank or fortune, to promote," from Old French preferer (14c.) and directly from Latin praeferre "place or set before, carry in front," from prae "before" (see pre-) + ferre "to carry, to bear," from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children." Meaning "to esteem (something) more than others" also is recorded from late 14c. Original sense in English is preserved in preferment.
preferable (adj.) Look up preferable at
1640s, from or on model of French préférable, from préfér (see prefer). OED notes preferrable is better English but has not prevailed. Related: Preferably.
preference (n.) Look up preference at
mid-15c., "advancement in position or status;" 1650s as "act of prefering," from Middle French preference (14c., Modern French préférence), from Medieval Latin preferentia, from past participle stem of Latin praeferrere (see prefer). Sense of "that which one prefers" is from 1852.
preferential (adj.) Look up preferential at
1805, from Medieval Latin preferentia, from Latin praeferre (see prefer) + -al (1).
preferment (n.) Look up preferment at
mid-15c., from prefer + -ment.
prefiguration (n.) Look up prefiguration at
late 14c., from Late Latin praefigurationem (nominative praefiguratio), noun of action from past participle stem of praefigurare "to prefigure" (see prefigure).
prefigure (v.) Look up prefigure at
early 15c., from Late Latin praefigurare "to prefigure," from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + figurare "to form, shape," from figura "a shape, form, figure" (from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build"). Related: Prefigured; prefiguring.
prefix (n.) Look up prefix at
1640s, from Latin praefixum, noun use of neuter past participle of praefigere "fix in front, fasten on before," from prae "before" (see pre-) + root of figere "to fasten, fix" (see fix (v.)).
prefix (v.) Look up prefix at
early 15c., "appoint beforehand," from Middle French prefixer, from pre- "before" (see pre-) + fixer (see fix (v.)). Meaning "to place at the beginning" is from 1530s; of words or parts of words from c. 1600. Related: Prefixed; prefixing.
preflight (adj.) Look up preflight at
also pre-flight, 1918 with reference to aviation, from pre- + flight (n.).
preformed (adj.) Look up preformed at
c. 1600, from Latin praeformare or else from pre- + formed (see form (v.)). Of plastic and synthetic products, from 1918.
preggers (adj.) Look up preggers at
1942, from pregnant (adj.1).
preggo (adj.) Look up preggo at
Australian slang, 1951, from pregnant (adj.1).
preglacial (adj.) Look up preglacial at
also pre-glacial, 1853, from pre- + glacial.
pregnable (adj.) Look up pregnable at
1530s, alteration of Middle English preignable, earlier prenable (early 15c.), from Old French prenable "assailable, vulnerable," from stem of prendre "to take, grasp, seize," from Latin prehendere "to take hold of, to seize" (see prehensile).
pregnancy (n.) Look up pregnancy at
1520s (originally figurative), from pregnant (adj.1) + -cy. Literal use attested from 1590s.
pregnant (adj.1) Look up pregnant at
"with child," early 15c., from Latin praegnantem (nominative praegnans, originally praegnas) "with child," literally "before birth," probably from prae- "before" (see pre-) + root of gnasci "be born" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget").

Retained its status as a taboo word until c. 1950; modern euphemisms include anticipating, enceinte, expecting, in a family way, in a delicate (or interesting) condition. Old English terms included mid-bearne, literally "with child;" bearn-eaca, literally "child-adding" or "child-increasing;" and geacnod "increased." Among c. 1800 slang terms for "pregnant" was poisoned (in reference to the swelling).
pregnant (adj.2) Look up pregnant at
"convincing, weighty, pithy," late 14c., "cogent, convincing, compelling" (of evidence, an argument, etc.); sense of "full of meaning" is from c. 1400. According to OED from Old French preignant, present participle of preindre "press, squeeze, stamp, crush," from earlier priembre, from Latin premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike"). But in Barnhart it is from Latin praegnans "with child," literally "before birth" and thus identical with pregnant (adj.1).
preheat (v.) Look up preheat at
also pre-heat, 1878, from pre- + heat (v.). Related: Preheated; preheating.
prehensile (adj.) Look up prehensile at
1771, from French préhensile "adapted for grasping" (Buffon), from Latin prehensus, past participle of prehendere "to grasp, seize, get hold of," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + -hendere, from PIE root *ghend- "to seize, take" (see get (v.)).

Latin -hendere perhaps is related to hedera "ivy," via the notion of "clinging." De Vaan writes, "Of course, ivy is a climbing (or ground-creeping) plant, and one may surmise that its name means 'the grabbing one', but this is just a guess, especially since the morphology is uncommon: no s-stem of this root is attested elsewhere in IE."
prehension (n.) Look up prehension at
1530s, "seizure, arrest," from Latin prehensionem (nominative prehensio), noun of action from past participle stem of prehendere (see prehensile). Use in philosophy is from 1925.
prehistoric (adj.) Look up prehistoric at
1832, modeled on French préhistorique; see pre- + historic.
prehistory (n.) Look up prehistory at
1869, perhaps a back-formation from prehistoric. Related: Prehistorian.
prejudge (v.) Look up prejudge at
1560s, from French préjuger (16c.), equivalent to Latin praejudicare "to judge beforehand;" see pre- + judge (v.). Related: Prejudged; prejudging; prejudgment.
prejudice (v.) Look up prejudice at
mid-15c., "to injure or be detrimental to," from prejudice (n.). The meaning "to affect or fill with prejudice" is from c. 1600. Related: Prejudiced; prejudicing.
prejudice (n.) Look up prejudice at
c. 1300, "despite, contempt," from Old French prejudice "prejudice, damage" (13c.), from Medieval Latin prejudicium "injustice," from Latin praeiudicium "prior judgment," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + iudicium "judgment," from iudex (genitive iudicis) "a judge" (see judge (n.)). Meaning "injury, physical harm" is mid-14c., as is legal sense "detriment or damage caused by the violation of a legal right." Meaning "preconceived opinion" (especially but not necessarily unfavorable) is from late 14c. in English.
prejudicial (adj.) Look up prejudicial at
early 15c., "causing prejudice;" 1530s, "full of prejudice," from prejudice (n.) + -al (1), or else from Middle French prejudicial and directly from Medieval Latin prejudicialis "injurious," from Latin praeiudicium.
prelapsarian (adj.) Look up prelapsarian at
"pertaining to the condition before the Fall," 1834, from pre- + Latin lapsus "a fall" (see lapse (n.)) + ending from unitarian, etc.
prelate (n.) Look up prelate at
c. 1200, from Old French prelat (Modern French prélate) and directly from Medieval Latin prelatus "clergyman of high rank," from Latin praelatus "one preferred," noun use of past participle of praeferre (see prefer), from prae "before" (see pre-) + latus "borne, carried" (see oblate (n.)).
prelim (n.) Look up prelim at
1891, short for preliminary (race, test, event, etc.).
preliminary (adj.) Look up preliminary at
1660s, from French préliminaire and directly from Medieval Latin praeliminaris, from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + limen (genitive liminis) "threshold" (see limit (n.)). A word that arose in reference to painstaking diplomatic negotiations to end the Thirty Years' War. Earliest attested form in English is preliminaries (n.), 1650s.