present (n.1) Look up present at Dictionary.com
"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 (n.2) Look up present at Dictionary.com
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-day Look up present-day at Dictionary.com
1870, from present (adj.) + day.
presentable (adj.) Look up presentable at Dictionary.com
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.) Look up presentation at Dictionary.com
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.) Look up presenter at Dictionary.com
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.) Look up presentiment at Dictionary.com
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.) Look up presently at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "immediately, at this time," from present (adj.) + -ly (2). By 1560s it had relaxed into "sooner or later."
presentment (n.) Look up presentment at Dictionary.com
"act of presenting," c.1300, from Old French presentement "presentation (of a person) at a ceremony" (12c.), from presenter (see present (v.)).
preservation (n.) Look up preservation at Dictionary.com
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.) Look up preservationist at Dictionary.com
"advocate of protecting existing things," 1905, from preservation + -ist; specifically of historic buildings by 1957.
preservative (adj.) Look up preservative at Dictionary.com
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 (v.) Look up preserve at Dictionary.com
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" (see observe). As a treatment of fruit, etc., 1570s; of organic bodies from 1610s. Related: Preserved; preserving.
preserve (n.) Look up preserve at Dictionary.com
"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.
preset Look up preset at Dictionary.com
also pre-set, 1934 (adj.); 1946 (v.); from pre- + set (v.).
preside (v.) Look up preside at Dictionary.com
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" (see sedentary).
presidence (n.) Look up presidence at Dictionary.com
"action of presiding," 1590s, from French présidence (14c.), from Medieval Latin praesidentia (see presidency).
presidency (n.) Look up presidency at Dictionary.com
1590s, "office of a president," from Medieval Latin praesidentia "office of a president" (mid-13c.), from Latin praesidentem (nominative praesidens) "president, governor" (see president). Earlier in same sense was presidentship (1520s). Meaning "a president's term in office" is from 1610s.
president (n.) Look up president at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "appointed governor of a province; chosen leader of a body of persons," from Old French president and directly from Latin praesidentum (nominative praesidens) "president, governor," noun use of present participle of praesidere "to act as head or chief" (see preside).

In Middle English of heads of religious houses, hospitals, colleges and universities. First use for "chief executive officer of a republic" is in U.S. Constitution (1787), from earlier American use for "officer in charge of the Continental Congress" (1774), a sense derived from that of "chosen head of a meeting or group of persons," which is from Middle English. It had been used of chief officers of banks from 1781, of individual colonies since 1608 (originally Virginia) and heads of colleges since mid-15c. Slang shortening prez is recorded from 1883. Fem. form presidentess is attested from 1763.
presidential (adj.) Look up presidential at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "pertaining to a president," from Medieval Latin praesidentialis, from praesidentia "office of a president" (see presidency). Related: Presidentially.
presidio (n.) Look up presidio at Dictionary.com
1808, American English, from Spanish presidio "fort, settlement," from Latin praesidium "defense, protection," from praesidere "to sit before, protect" (see preside).
Presidium (n.) Look up Presidium at Dictionary.com
permanent administrative committee of the U.S.S.R., 1924, from Russian prezidium, from Latin praesidium "a presiding over, defense," from praesidere (see preside).
press (n.) Look up press at Dictionary.com
c.1300, presse, "crowd, throng, company; crowding and jostling of a throng; a massing together," from Old French presse (n.) "throng, crush, crowd; wine or cheese press" (11c.), from Latin pressare (see press (v.1)). Late Old English had press "clothes press."

Meaning "device for pressing cloth" is from late 14c., as is also the sense "device to squeeze juice from grapes, oil from olives, cider from apples, etc.," from Middle French presse. Specific sense "machine for printing" is from 1530s; this was extended to publishing houses by 1570s and to publishing generally (in phrases like freedom of the press) from c.1680. This gradually shifted c.1800-1820 to "periodical publishing, journalism." The press, meaning "journalists collectively" is attested from 1921 (though superseded by media since the rise of television, etc.).

Press agent is from 1873; press conference is attested from 1931, though the thing itself dates to at least World War I. Press secretary is recorded from 1940. Via the sense "crowd, throng," Middle English in press meant "in public," a coincidental parallel to the modern phrase in the press. Weightlifting sense is from 1908. The basketball defense so called from 1959 (in full-court press).
press (v.1) Look up press at Dictionary.com
"push against," early 14c., "to clasp, embrace;" mid-14c. "to squeeze out;" also "to cluster, gather in a crowd;" late 14c., "to press against, exert pressure," also "assault, assail;" also "forge ahead, push one's way, move forward," from Old French presser "squeeze, press upon; torture" (13c.), from Latin pressare "to press," frequentative formation from pressus, past participle of premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress," from PIE *per- (4) "to strike." Related: Pressed; pressing. Figurative sense is from late 14c. Meaning "to urge, argue for" is from 1590s.
press (v.2) Look up press at Dictionary.com
"force into service," 1570s, alteration (by association with press (v.1)) of prest (mid-14c.) "engage by loan, pay in advance," especially money paid to a soldier or sailor on enlisting, from Latin praestare "to stand out, stand before; fulfill, perform, provide," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Related to praesto (adv.) "ready, available." Related: Pressed; pressing.
press-gang (n.) Look up press-gang at Dictionary.com
1690s, from press (v.2) + gang (n.).
pressing (adj.) Look up pressing at Dictionary.com
"exerting pressure," mid-14c., present participle adjective from press (v.1). Sense of "urgent, compelling, forceful" is from 1705. Related: Pressingly.
pressman (n.) Look up pressman at Dictionary.com
1590s, from press (n.) + man (n.).
pressroom (n.) Look up pressroom at Dictionary.com
1680s, from press (n.) + room (n.).
pressure (n.) Look up pressure at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "suffering, anguish; act or fact of pressing on the mind or heart," from Old French presseure "oppression; torture; anguish; press" (for wine or cheeses), "instrument of torture" (12c.) and directly from Latin pressura "action of pressing," from pressus, past participle of premere "to press" (see press (v.1)).

Literal meaning "act or fact of pressing" in a physical sense is attested from early 15c. Meaning "moral or mental coercing force" is from 1620s; meaning "urgency" is from 1812. Scientific sense in physics is from 1650s. Pressure cooker is attested from 1915; figurative sense is from 1958. Pressure point is attested from 1876. Pressure-treated, of woods, is from 1911.
pressure (v.) Look up pressure at Dictionary.com
"to pressurize," 1886, American English, from pressure (n.). Meaning "to exert pressure on" (someone) is attested by 1922. Related: Pressured; pressuring.
pressurization (n.) Look up pressurization at Dictionary.com
1937, from pressure + -ization.
pressurize (v.) Look up pressurize at Dictionary.com
1938 (implied in pressurized), from pressure (n.) + -ize. Related: Pressurizing.
Prester John Look up Prester John at Dictionary.com
c.1300, Prestre Johan, legendary medieval Christian king and priest, said to have ruled either in the Far East or Ethiopia. From Vulgar Latin *prester, a transition between Latin presbyter and English priest. First mentioned in the West by mid-12c. chronicler Otto of Freising, who told how Johannes Presbyter won a great victory over the Persians and the Medes. Between 1165 and 1177 a forged letter purporting to be from him circulated in Europe. All this recalls the time when the Christian West was culturally backwards and militarily threatened, dreaming of a mythical deliverer. Compare Old French prestre Jehan (13c.), Italian prete Gianni.
prestidigitation (n.) Look up prestidigitation at Dictionary.com
1843, from French prestidigitation, which was coined along with prestidigitator (q.v.).
prestidigitator (n.) Look up prestidigitator at Dictionary.com
1843, from French prestidigitateur, a hybrid coined 1830 by Jules de Rovère (who sought a new word, "qui s'accorderait mieux à ses nobles origines" to replace escamoteur and physicien), roughly based on Latin praestigiator "juggler" (see prestigious); influenced by Italian presto "quick," a conjuror's word (see presto), and by Latin digitus "finger" (see digit).
prestige (n.) Look up prestige at Dictionary.com
1650s, "trick," from French prestige (16c.) "deceit, imposture, illusion" (in Modern French, "illusion, magic, glamour"), from Latin praestigium "delusion, illusion" (see prestigious). Derogatory until 19c.; sense of "dazzling influence" first applied 1815, to Napoleon.
prestigious (adj.) Look up prestigious at Dictionary.com
1540s, "practicing illusion or magic, deceptive," from Latin praestigious "full of tricks," from praestigiae "juggler's tricks," probably altered by dissimilation from praestrigiae, from praestringere "to blind, blindfold, dazzle," from prae "before" (see pre-) + stringere "to tie or bind" (see strain (v.)). Derogatory until 19c.; meaning "having dazzling influence" is attested from 1913 (see prestige). Related: Prestigiously; prestigiousness.
presto (adv.) Look up presto at Dictionary.com
1590s, "quickly," used by conjurers, etc., from Italian presto "quick, quickly" in conjuror's patter, from Latin praestus "ready," praesto (adv.) "ready, available," from prae "before" (see pre-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Compare Latin praesto esse "to be at hand, be ready," source of French prêt "ready." As a musical direction, it is a separate borrowing from Italian, first recorded 1683.
presumable (adj.) Look up presumable at Dictionary.com
1690s, from presume + -able.
presumably (adv.) Look up presumably at Dictionary.com
1640s, "with presumption, without examination," from presumable + -ly (2). As a qualifier, "probably, as one would presume," from 1830.
presume (v.) Look up presume at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to take upon oneself, to take liberty," also "to take for granted, presuppose," especially overconfidently, from Old French presumer (12c.) and directly from Latin praesumere "anticipate," in Late Latin, "assume" (see presumption). Related: Presumed; presumedly; presuming.
presumption (n.) Look up presumption at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "seizure and occupation without right," also "taking upon oneself more than is warranted," from Old French presumcion (12c., Modern French présomption) and directly from Late Latin praesumptionem (nominative praesumptio) "confidence, audacity," in classical Latin, "a taking for granted, anticipation," noun of action from past participle stem of praesumere "to take beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + sumere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)). In English, the meaning "the taking of something for granted" is attested from c.1300. Presumptuous preserves the older sense.
presumptive (adj.) Look up presumptive at Dictionary.com
"speculative," mid-15c., from French présomptif (15c.), from Medieval Latin presumptivus, from Late Latin praesumptivus, from Latin praesumpt- past participle stem of praesumere (see presume). The heir presumptive (1620s) is "presumed" to be the heir if the heir apparent is unavailable. Related: Presumptively.
presumptuous (adj.) Look up presumptuous at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French presumtuex (12c.; Modern French présomptueux) and directly from Late Latin praesumptuosus, variant of praesumptiosus, from past participle stem of Latin praesumere "anticipate," in Late Latin, "assume" (see presumption). Related: Presumptuously; presumptuousness.
presuppose (v.) Look up presuppose at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Old French presupposer (14c.), from Medieval Latin praesupponere; see pre- + suppose. Related: Presupposed; presupposing.
presupposition (n.) Look up presupposition at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Middle French présupposition and directly from Medieval Latin praesuppositionem (nominative praesuppositio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin praesupponere, from prae "before" (see pre-) + suppositio (see suppose).
pret a porter (adj.) Look up pret a porter at Dictionary.com
1957, from French prêt à porter, "ready-to-wear." For pret, see presto. Porter is literally "to carry," from Latin portare "to carry" (see port (n.1)). For a similar sense evolution, compare German kleider tragen.
pretend (v.) Look up pretend at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to profess, assert, maintain" (a claim, etc.), "to direct (one's) efforts," from Old French pretendre "to lay claim," from Latin praetendere "stretch in front, put forward, allege," from prae "before" (see pre-) + tendere "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch" (see tend).

Main modern sense of "feign, put forward a false claim" is recorded from c.1400; the older sense of simply "to claim" is behind the string of royal pretenders (1690s) in English history. Meaning "to play, make believe" is recorded from 1865. In 17c. pretend also could mean "make a suit of marriage for," from a sense in French. Related: Pretended; pretending.
pretend (n.) Look up pretend at Dictionary.com
"fact of pretending," 1888, from children's talk, from pretend (v.). Earlier in same sense was verbal noun pretending (1640s).