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.
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 (adj.).
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 consider beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + meditari "to consider," from a frequentative form of PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures." 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," from a frequentative form of PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures."
premenstrual (adj.) Look up premenstrual at
also pre-menstrual, 1865, from pre- + menstrual. Premenstrual syndrome (1971) earlier was premenstrual tension (1928).
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).
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, principal, excellent," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)).
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 admonish, warn, advice," from PIE *moneyo-, suffixed (causative) form of root *men- (1) "to think."
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 "before" (see pre-) + movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away").
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).
prep (v.) Look up prep at
slang shortening of prepare, 1908. Related: Prepped; prepping.
preparation (n.) Look up preparation at
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" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure"). Meaning "a substance especially prepared" is from 1640s.
preparatory (adj.) Look up preparatory at
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
mid-15c., a back formation from preparation and in part from Middle French preparer (14c.), from Latin praeparare "make ready beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + parare "make ready" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure"). Related: Prepared; preparing. Be prepared as the Boy Scouts' motto is attested from 1911.
preparedness (n.) Look up preparedness at
1580s, from prepared + -ness.
prepay (v.) Look up prepay at
also pre-pay, 1839, originally of postage, from pre- + pay (v.). Related: Prepaid; prepayment.
prepend (v.) Look up prepend at
"ponder, consider," 1560s, from pre- + Latin pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh; pay" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). Related: Prepended; prepending.
prepense (adj.) Look up prepense at
"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," from Latin pensare "weigh, consider," frequentative of pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh; pay" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin").
preponderance (n.) Look up preponderance at
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
mid-15c., from Latin praeponderantem (nominative praeponderans), present participle of praeponderare (see preponderate).
preponderate (v.) Look up preponderate at
1610s, "to weigh more than," from Latin praeponderatus, past participle of praeponderare "outweigh, make heavier," from prae "before" (see pre-) + ponderare "to weigh," from pondus "weight," from stem of pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). Meaning "to exceed in force or power" is from 1799. Related: Preponderation.
preponderous (adj.) Look up preponderous at
1700, from preponderate + -ous. Related: Preponderously.
preposition (n.) Look up preposition at
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
1754, from preposition + -al (1).
prepossess (v.) Look up prepossess at
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
1640s, "causing prejudice," present participle adjective from prepossess. Opposite meaning "causing agreeable first impression" first recorded 1805.
prepossession (n.) Look up prepossession at
1640s, noun of action from prepossess (v.).
preposterous (adj.) Look up preposterous at
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.