preppie (n.)
"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.)
also pre-prandial, 1822, from pre- + Latin prandium "luncheon" (see postprandial).
preprint (v.)
also pre-print, 1913, from pre- + print (v.). Related: Preprinted; preprinting.
preprint (n.)
1889, from pre- + print (n.).
preprocess (v.)
also pre-process, 1956, from pre- + process (v.). Related: Preprocessed; preprocessing.
Preprocessed foods are not only here but are gaining such a tremendous acceptance that soon there will be little else on the market. This eliminates the need for mixing, peeling, blending and other devices used in the preparation of raw foods. ["Popular Mechanics" October 1956]
preprogram (v.)
also pre-program, 1955, from pre- + program (v.). Related: Preprogrammed; preprogramming.
prepubescent (adj.)
also pre-pubescent, 1883 (in Gerald Massey's "The Natural Genesis"), from pre- + pubescent. An older word in the same sense was impuberal (1829), from Latin impubes.
prepublication (adj.)
1903, from pre- + publication.
prepuce (n.)
c. 1400, from Old French prepuce, from Latin praeputium "foreskin," possibly from prae "before" (see pre-) + *putos "penis." Earlier in English as prepucy (late 14c.), directly from Latin.
prequel (n.)
1973, from pre-, based on sequel (n.).
prerecord (v.)
also pre-record, 1936, of music, from pre- + record (v.). Related: Prerecorded; prerecording.
prerequisite
1630s (n.) "something required beforehand," 1650s (adj.), "required beforehand," both from pre- + requisite.
prerogative (n.)
"special right or privilege granted to someone," late 14c. (in Anglo-Latin from late 13c.), from Old French prerogative (14c.), Medieval Latin prerogativa "special right," from Latin praerogativa "prerogative, previous choice or election," originally (with tribus, centuria) "unit of 100 voters who by lot voted first in the Roman comita," noun use of fem. of praerogativus (adj.) "chosen to vote first," from praerogere "ask before others," from prae "before" (see pre-) + rogare "to ask, ask a favor," apparently a figurative use of a PIE verb meaning literally "to stretch out (the hand)," from root *reg- "move in a straight line."
presage (v.)
1560s, from Middle French présager (16c.), from présage "omen," from Latin praesagium (see presage (n.)). Related: Presaged; presaging.
presage (n.)
late 14c., "something that portends," from Latin praesagium "a foreboding," from praesagire "to perceive beforehand, forebode," from praesagus (adj.) "perceiving beforehand, prophetic," from prae "before" (see pre-) + sagus "prophetic," related to sagire "perceive" (see sagacious).
presby-
word-forming element meaning "old," from Greek presby-, combining form of presbys "elder, old man," possibly originally "one who leads the cattle," from *pres- "before" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, first") + root of bous "cow." Watkins, however, has it from PIE *pres-gwu- "going before," with second element from root *gw-u- "going," a suffixed form of root *gwa- "to come."
presbycousis (n.)
"loss of hearing acuteness due to age," 1890, medical Latin (by 1886 in German), from Greek presbys "elder, old man" (see presby-) + akousis "hearing," from akouein "to hear" (see acoustic). Related: Presbyotic.
presbyopia (n.)
"far-sightedness brought on by age," 1791, medical Latin, from Greek presbys "old man" (see presby-) + -opia, from ops "eye" (from PIE root *okw- "to see"). Related: Presbyopic.
presbyter (n.)
"elder of the Christian church," 1590s, from Late Latin presbyter, used for "a priest" in Jerome and Prudentius, from Greek presbyteros "older," comparative of presbys "old; old man" (see presby-).
Presbyterian (adj., n.)
1640, in reference to the Scottish church governed by elders (as opposed to bishops), from presbyter "an elder in a church" (1590s), from Late Latin presbyter "an elder," from Greek presbyteros "an elder," also an adjective meaning "older," comparative of presbys "old" (see presby-).

Presbyterial was used from c. 1600 in the sense "of or pertaining to a presbytery;" also from 1590s as "presbyterian" (adj.).
presbytery (n.)
"part of a church reserved for the clergy," early 15c., from Church Latin presbyterium, from Greek presbyterion, from presbyteros "an elder" (see Presbyterian). Meaning "body of elders in the Presbyterian system" is recorded from 1570s.
preschool (adj.)
also pre-school, 1886, from pre- + school (n.); the noun is from 1910. Related: pre-schooling; pre-schooler.
prescience (n.)
late 14c., from Old French prescience (13c.) and directly from Late Latin praescientia "fore-knowledge," from *praescientem, present participle of *praescire "to know in advance," from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + scire "to know" (see science).
prescient (adj.)
1620s, from Middle French prescient (15c.) and directly from Latin praescientem (nominative praesciens), present participle of praescire (see prescience).
prescreen (v.)
also pre-screen, 1952, of movies, from pre- + screen (v.). Related: Prescreened; prescreening.
prescribe (v.)
"to write down as a direction," mid-15c., from Latin praescribere "write before, prefix in writing; ordain, determine in advance," from prae "before" (see pre-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut"). Related: Prescribed; prescribing. Medical sense is from 1580s, probably a back formation from prescription.
prescription (n.)
late 14c., in law, "the right to something through long use," from Old French prescription (13c.) and directly from Latin praescriptionem (nominative praescriptio) "a writing before, order, direction," noun of action from past participle stem of praescribere "write before, prefix in writing; ordain, determine in advance," from prae "before" (see pre-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut"). Medical sense of "written directions from a doctor" first recorded 1570s.
prescriptive (adj.)
1748, from Late Latin praescriptivus, from praescript-, past participle stem of praescribere (see prescription). Or formed in English from archaic prescript "a direction" (1530s), from Latin praescriptum.
preselect (v.)
also pre-select, 1856, from pre- + select (v.). Related: Preselected; preselecting.
preselection (n.)
also pre-selection, 1882, from pre- + selection.
presence (n.)
mid-14c., "fact of being present," from Old French presence (12c., Modern French présence), from Latin praesentia "a being present," from praesentem (see present (n.)). Meaning "carriage, demeanor, aspect" (especially if impressive) is from 1570s; that of "divine, spiritual, or incorporeal being felt as present" is from 1660s. Presence of mind (1660s) is a loan-translation of French présence d'esprit, Latin praesentia animi.
present (n.2)
c. 1200, "thing offered, what is offered or given as a gift," from Old French present and Medieval Latin presentia, from phrases such as French en present "(to offer) in the presence of," mettre en present "place before, give," from Late Latin inpraesent "face to face," from Latin in re praesenti "in the situation in question," from praesens "being there" (see present (adj.)), on the notion of "bringing something into someone's presence."
present (v.)
c. 1300, "introduce (someone or something) formally or ceremonially;" also "make a formal presentation of; give as a gift or award; bestow," from Old French presenter (11c., Modern French présenter) and directly from Latin praesentare "to place before, show, exhibit," from stem of praesens (see present (adj.)). From late 14c. as "exhibit (something), offer for inspection, display;" also, in law, "make a formal complaint or charge of wrongdoing." From c. 1400 as"represent, portray." Related: Presented; presenting.
present (n.1)
"this point in time" (opposed to past and future), c. 1300, "the present time," also "act or fact of being present; portion of space around someone," from Old French present (n.) from Latin praesens "being there" (see present (adj.)). In old legalese, these presents means "these documents."
present (adj.)
c. 1300, "existing at the time," from Old French present "evident, at hand, within reach;" as a noun, "the present time" (11c., Modern French présent) and directly from Latin praesentem (nominative praesens) "present, at hand, in sight; immediate; prompt, instant; contemporary," from present participle of præesse "be before (someone or something), be at hand," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + esse "to be" (from PIE root *es- "to be"). Meaning "being there" is from mid-14c. in English. As a grammatical tense, recorded from late 14c.
present-day
1870, from present (adj.) + day.
presentable (adj.)
mid-15c., of a benefice; also, in law, "liable to formal charge of wrongdoing," from present (v.) + -able. Meaning "suitable in appearance" is from 1800. Related: Presentably.
presentation (n.)
late 14c., "act of presenting," from Old French presentacion (13c.), from Latin praesentationem (nominative praesentatio) "a placing before," noun of action from past participle stem of praesentare (see present (v.)). Meaning "that which is offered or presented" is mid-15c.; that of "a theatrical or other representation" is recorded from c. 1600. Related: Presentational.
presenter (n.)
1540s, "one who presents" (a position, degree, etc.), agent noun from present (v.); meaning "host of a radio or television program" is from 1967.
presentiment (n.)
1714, from obsolete French presentiment (Modern French Related: pressentiment), from Middle French pressentir "to have foreboding," from Latin praesentire "to sense beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + sentire "perceive, feel" (see sense (n.)).
presently (adv.)
late 14c., "immediately, at this time," from present (adj.) + -ly (2). By 1560s it had relaxed into "sooner or later."
presentment (n.)
"act of presenting," c. 1300, from Old French presentement "presentation (of a person) at a ceremony" (12c.), from presenter (see present (v.)).
preservation (n.)
early 15c., preservacioun "protection from disease," from Old French preservacion (13c.), from Medieval Latin preservationem (nominative preservatio), noun of action from past participle stem of preservare (see preserve (v.)).
preservationist (n.)
"advocate of protecting existing things," 1905, from preservation + -ist; specifically of historic buildings by 1957.
preservative (adj.)
late 14c., from Old French preservatif and directly from Medieval Latin praeservativus, from stem of praeservare (see preserve (v.)). The noun is from early 15c., "a preservative medication;" sense of "chemical added to foods to keep them from rotting" is from 1875.
preserve (n.)
"fruit preserved with sugar," c. 1600, from preserve (v.). Earlier it meant "a preservative" (1550s). Sense of "protected place for animals or plants" (a sense more properly belonging to conserve) is from 1807.
preserve (v.)
late 14c., "keep safe," from Anglo-French preservare, Old French preserver, from Medieval Latin preservare "keep, preserve," from Late Latin praeservare "guard beforehand," from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + servare "to keep safe" (from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect"). As a treatment of fruit, etc., 1570s; of organic bodies from 1610s. Related: Preserved; preserving.
preset
also pre-set, 1934 (adj.); 1946 (v.); from pre- + set (v.).
preside (v.)
1610s, from French présider "preside over, govern" (15c.), from Latin praesidere "stand guard; superintend," literally "sit in front of," from prae "before" (see pre-) + sedere "to sit," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit."
presidence (n.)
"action of presiding," 1590s, from French présidence (14c.), from Medieval Latin praesidentia (see presidency).