prelude (n.) Look up prelude at Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
also pre-marital, 1863, from pre- + marital. Phrase pre-marital sex attested from 1953.
premature (adj.) Look up premature at Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
also pre-medical, 1881, in reference to study for medical training, from pre- + medical (adj.).
premeditate (v.) Look up premeditate at Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
also pre-menstrual, 1865, from pre- + menstrual. Premenstrual syndrome (1971) earlier was premenstrual tension (1928).
premier (adj.) Look up premier at Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
"to state before something else," mid-15c., from premise (n.). Related: Premised; premising.
premises (n.) Look up premises at Dictionary.com
"building and grounds," 1730; see premise (n.).
premium (n.) Look up premium at Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
"premolar tooth," 1841, from pre- + molar. Related: Premolars.
premonition (n.) Look up premonition at Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
1640s, from Late Latin praemonitorius, from praemonitor, agent noun from stem of praemonere (see premonition).
premorbid (adj.) Look up premorbid at Dictionary.com
also pre-morbid, 1905, from pre- + morbid.
premotion (n.) Look up premotion at Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
1826, formed in English from pre- + natal.
prentice (n.) Look up prentice at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, shortened form of apprentice (n.). As a verb from 1590s.
prenup (n.) Look up prenup at Dictionary.com
by 1988 as a shortening of prenuptial agreement (see prenuptial).
prenuptial (adj.) Look up prenuptial at Dictionary.com
1826, from pre- + nuptial. Prenuptial agreement first recorded 1833.
preoccupancy (n.) Look up preoccupancy at Dictionary.com
also pre-occupancy, "prior occupation," 1734, from pre- + occupancy.
preoccupation (n.) Look up preoccupation at Dictionary.com
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 Dictionary.com
"absorbed in thought," 1823, past participle adjective from preoccupy (v.). Earlier it meant "occupied in advance."
preoccupy (v.) Look up preoccupy at Dictionary.com
1560s, from pre- + occupy. Related: Preoccupied; preoccupying.
preordain (v.) Look up preordain at Dictionary.com
1530s, from pre- + ordain (q.v.). Related: Preordained; preordaining.
prep (n.) Look up prep at Dictionary.com
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).
prep (v.) Look up prep at Dictionary.com
slang shortening of prepare, 1908. Related: Prepped; prepping.
preparation (n.) Look up preparation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "act of preparing," from Latin praeparationem (nominative praeparatio) "a making ready," noun of action from past participle stem of praeparare "prepare," from prae "before" (see pre-) + parare "make ready" (see pare). Meaning "a substance especially prepared" is from 1640s.
preparatory (adj.) Look up preparatory at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Late Latin praeparatorius, from Latin praeparatus (see preparation). Earlier in same sense was preparative (late 14c.). Applied from 1822 to junior schools in which pupils are "prepared" for a higher school.
prepare (v.) Look up prepare at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., a back formation from preparation and in part from Middle French preparer (14c.), from Latin praeparare "make ready beforehand" (see preparation). Related: Prepared; preparing. Be prepared as the Boy Scouts' motto is attested from 1911.
preparedness (n.) Look up preparedness at Dictionary.com
1580s, from prepared + -ness.
prepay (v.) Look up prepay at Dictionary.com
also pre-pay, 1839, originally of postage, from pre- + pay (v.). Related: Prepaid; prepayment.
prepend (v.) Look up prepend at Dictionary.com
"ponder, consider," 1560s, from pre- + Latin pendere "to weigh" (see pendant). Related: Prepended; prepending.
prepense (adj.) Look up prepense at Dictionary.com
"planned beforehand," c. 1700, short for prepensed (1520s), past participle adjective from obsolete prepense, originally purpense, from Old French pourpenser "to plan, meditate" (11c.), from pro- "before" (see pro-) + penser "to think" (see pensive).
preponderance (n.) Look up preponderance at Dictionary.com
1680s, "greater weight," from Latin praeponderans, present participle of praeponderare "make heavier" (see preponderate). Sense of "greater importance" is from 1780; that of "greater number" is from 1845.
preponderant (adj.) Look up preponderant at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Latin praeponderantem (nominative praeponderans), present participle of praeponderare (see preponderate).
preponderate (v.) Look up preponderate at Dictionary.com
1610s, "to weigh more than," from Latin praeponderatus, past participle of praeponderare "outweigh, make heavier," from prae "before" (see pre-) + ponderare "to weigh" (see pound (n.1)). Meaning "to exceed in force or power" is from 1799. Related: Preponderation.
preponderous (adj.) Look up preponderous at Dictionary.com
1700, from preponderate + -ous. Related: Preponderously.
preposition (n.) Look up preposition at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin praepositionem (nominative praepositio) "a putting before, a prefixing," noun of action from past participle stem of praeponere "put before," from prae "before" (see pre-) + ponere "put, set, place" (past participle positus; see position (n.)). In grammatical use, a loan-translation of Greek prothesis, literally "a setting before."
prepositional (adj.) Look up prepositional at Dictionary.com
1754, from preposition + -al (1).
prepossess (v.) Look up prepossess at Dictionary.com
1610s, "to get possession of beforehand," from pre- + possess. Meaning "to possess (a person) beforehand with a feeling, notion, etc." is from 1630s; specifically, "to cause (someone) to have a favorable opinion of something" (1640s). Related: Prepossessed; prepossessing.
prepossessing (adj.) Look up prepossessing at Dictionary.com
1640s, "causing prejudice," present participle adjective from prepossess. Opposite meaning "causing agreeable first impression" first recorded 1805.
prepossession (n.) Look up prepossession at Dictionary.com
1640s, noun of action from prepossess (v.).
preposterous (adj.) Look up preposterous at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Latin praeposterus "absurd, contrary to nature, inverted, perverted, in reverse order," literally "before-behind" (compare topsy-turvy, cart before the horse), from prae "before" + posterus "subsequent." Related: Preposterously; preposterousness.
preppie (n.) Look up preppie at Dictionary.com
"student at a preparatory school," 1962, also preppy; see prep. As an adjective from 1966. An older variant in the noun sense was prepper (1921), also prepster (1938).
preprandial (adj.) Look up preprandial at Dictionary.com
also pre-prandial, 1822, from pre- + Latin prandium "luncheon" (see postprandial).