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.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" (see press (v.1)). But Watkins has it from Latin praehendere "to grasp, seize," and in Barnhart it is from Latin praegnans "with child," literally "before birth" and thus identical with pregnant (adj.1).
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" (see genus).

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).
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 is related to hedera "ivy," via notion of "clinging."
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 (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 (v.)). 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.
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.
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 negotiations to end the Thirty Years' War. Earliest attested form in English is preliminaries (n.), 1650s.
prelude (n.) Look up prelude at
1560s, from Middle French prélude "notes sung or played to test the voice or instrument" (1530s), from Medieval Latin preludium "prelude, preliminary," from Latin praeludere "to play beforehand for practice, preface," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Purely musical sense first attested in English 1650s. Related: Prelusion.
premarital (adj.) Look up premarital at
also pre-marital, 1863, from pre- + marital. Phrase pre-marital sex attested from 1953.
premature (adj.) Look up premature at
mid-15c., from Latin praematurus "early ripe" (as fruit), "too early, untimely," from prae "before" (see pre-) + maturus "ripe, timely" (see mature (v.)). Related: Prematurely; prematurity; prematuration. Premature ejaculation is attested from 1848; Latin euphemism ejaculatio praecox dates to 1891 in English but was used earlier in German and appears to have been, at first at least, the psychologist's term for it.
premedical (adj.) Look up premedical at
also pre-medical, 1881, in reference to study for medical training, from pre- + medical.
premeditate (v.) Look up premeditate at
1540s, from pre- + meditate, or a back formation from premeditation, or else from Latin praemeditatus, past participle of praemeditari "to think over." Related: Premeditated; premeditating.
premeditation (n.) Look up premeditation at
early 15c., from Old French premeditacion and directly from Latin praemeditationem (nominative praemeditatio) "consideration beforehand," noun of action from past participle stem of praemeditari "to consider beforehand," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + meditari "to consider" (see meditation).
premenstrual (adj.) Look up premenstrual at
also pre-menstrual, 1865, from pre- + menstrual. Premenstrual syndrome (1971) earlier was premenstrual tension (1928).
premier (adj.) Look up premier at
mid-15c., "first in time;" late 15c. as "first in rank," from Middle French premier "first, chief," from Latin primarius "of the first rank, chief" (see primary (adj.)).
premier (n.) Look up premier at
1711 in the political sense, a shortening of premier minister (1680s); see premier (adj.). In U.S. usage, premier formerly was applied occasionally to the Secretary of State (1855-c. 1900).
premiere (n.) Look up premiere at
1889, "first performance of a play," from French première, in phrase première représentation, from fem. of Old French premier "first" (see premier). The verb is recorded from 1940.
premillennial (adj.) Look up premillennial at
1829, "before the millennium," especially in theological sense of "before the Second Coming of Christ;" from pre- + millennial. Premillenarian, one who believes the second coming of Christ will precede the Millennium, is from 1842. Related: Premillenialism.
premise (n.) Look up premise at
late 14c., in logic, "a previous proposition from which another follows," from Old French premisse (14c.), from Medieval Latin premissa (propositio or sententia) "(the proposition) set before," noun use of fem. past participle of Latin praemittere "send forward, put before," from prae "before" (see pre-) + mittere "to send" (see mission). In legal documents it meant "matter previously stated" (early 15c.), which in deeds or wills often was a house or building, hence the extended meaning "house or building, with grounds" (1730).
premise (v.) Look up premise at
"to state before something else," mid-15c., from premise (n.). Related: Premised; premising.
premises (n.) Look up premises at
"building and grounds," 1730; see premise (n.).
premium (n.) Look up premium at
c. 1600, "reward given for a specific act," from Latin praemium "reward, profit derived from booty," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + emere "to buy," originally "to take" (see exempt (adj.)). Insurance sense is 1660s, from Italian premio. Adjectival sense of "superior in quality" is first attested 1925, originally in reference to butter.
premolar (n.) Look up premolar at
"premolar tooth," 1841, from pre- + molar. Related: Premolars.
premonition (n.) Look up premonition at
mid-15c., from Anglo-French premunition, Middle French premonicion, from Late Latin praemonitionem (nominative praemonitio) "a forewarning," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin praemonere "forewarn," from prae "before" (see pre-) + monere "to warn" (see monitor (n.)).
premonitory (adj.) Look up premonitory at
1640s, from Late Latin praemonitorius, from praemonitor, agent noun from stem of praemonere (see premonition).
premorbid (adj.) Look up premorbid at
also pre-morbid, 1905, from pre- + morbid.
premotion (n.) Look up premotion at
1640s, from medical Latin praemotionem (nominative praemotio), noun of action from past participle stem of Late Latin praemovere, from prae- (see pre-) + movere "to move" (see move (v.)).
prenatal (adj.) Look up prenatal at
1826, formed in English from pre- + natal.
prentice (n.) Look up prentice at
c. 1300, shortened form of apprentice (n.). As a verb from 1590s.
prenup (n.) Look up prenup at
by 1988 as a shortening of prenuptial agreement (see prenuptial).
prenuptial (adj.) Look up prenuptial at
1826, from pre- + nuptial. Prenuptial agreement first recorded 1833.
preoccupancy (n.) Look up preoccupancy at
also pre-occupancy, "prior occupation," 1734, from pre- + occupancy.
preoccupation (n.) Look up preoccupation at
1550s, "state of occupying beforehand," from Latin praeoccupationem (nominative praeoccupatio) "a seizing beforehand, anticipation," noun of action from past participle stem of praeoccupare, from prae- "before" (see pre-) + occupare "seize" (see occupy). Meaning "mental absorption" is from 1854. Earlier its secondary sense was "bias, prejudice" (c. 1600).
preoccupied (adj.) Look up preoccupied at
"absorbed in thought," 1823, past participle adjective from preoccupy (v.). Earlier it meant "occupied in advance."
preoccupy (v.) Look up preoccupy at
1560s, from pre- + occupy. Related: Preoccupied; preoccupying.
preordain (v.) Look up preordain at
1530s, from pre- + ordain (q.v.). Related: Preordained; preordaining.
prep (n.) Look up prep at
1862, short for preparation. Prep school attested from 1895, short for preparatory school. First record of prep in the sense "student or graduate of a preparatory school" is from 1899 (also see preppie).