procreant (adj.) Look up procreant at
"fruitful," 1580s, from Latin procreantem (nominative procreans), present participle of procreare "to beget" (see procreation). As a noun from c. 1600.
procreate (v.) Look up procreate at
1530s, a back formation from procreation or else from Latin procreatus, past participle of procreare "to beget, bring forth" (see procreation). Related: Procreated; procreating.
procreation (n.) Look up procreation at
late 14c., "process of begetting offspring," from Old French procreacion (14c., Modern French prócreation) and directly from Latin procreationem (nominative procreatio) "a begetting, generation," noun of action from past participle stem of procreare "bring forth" (offspring), "beget, generate, produce," from pro "forth" (see pro-) + creare "create" (see create).
Procrustean (adj.) Look up Procrustean at
1846 in figurative sense, "violently making conformable to standard," from Procrustes, mythical robber of Attica who seized travelers, tied them to his bed, and either stretched their limbs or lopped of their legs to make them fit it. The name is Greek Prokroustes "one who stretches," from prokrouein "to beat out, stretch out," from pro "before" (see pro-) + krouein "to strike."
proctalgia (n.) Look up proctalgia at
"pain in the ass," 1811, from medical Latin proct-, Latinized form of Greek comb. form of proktos "anus" (see proctology) + -algia "pain."
proctology (n.) Look up proctology at
1896, from Greek proktos "anus," from PIE *prokto- + -logy "study of." Related: Proctologist (1897).
proctor (n.) Look up proctor at
late 14c., contraction of procurator (c. 1300) "steward or manager of a household;" also "a provider" (see procurator). From late 14c. as "one who acts or speaks for another; spokesman, advocate;" early 15c. as "business manager or financial administrator of a church, college, holy order, etc."
proctor (v.) Look up proctor at
1670s, from proctor (n.). Related: Proctored; proctoring.
procumbent (adj.) Look up procumbent at
"leaning forward," 1660s, from Latin procumbentem (nominative procumbens), present participle of procumbere "to fall forward, fall prostrate," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + -cumbere "to lie down" (see succumb). Related: Procumbently.
procurable (adj.) Look up procurable at
mid-15c., from procure + -able. Related: Procurability.
procurator (n.) Look up procurator at
(c. 1300) "steward or manager of a household;" also "a provider" (late 13c. as a surname), from Old French procuratour "attorney, agent, proxy, spokesman" (13c., Modern French procurateur) or directly from Latin procurator "manager, overseer, agent, deputy," agent noun from past participle stem of procurare (see procure). Related: Procuracy; procuration; procuratory.
procure (v.) Look up procure at
c. 1300, "bring about, cause, effect," from Old French procurer "care for, be occupied with; bring about, cause; acquire, provide" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin procurare "manage, take care of;" from pro "in behalf of" (see pro-) + curare "care for" (see cure (v.)). Main modern sense "obtain; recruit" (late 14c.) is via "take pains to get" (mid-14c.). Meaning "to obtain (women) for sexual gratification" is attested from c. 1600. Related: Procured; procuring.
procurement (n.) Look up procurement at
c. 1300, "use of improper influence," from Old French procurement "management, stewardship" (13c.), from procurer (see procure). Meaning "process of bringing something about" (by the action of another) is from c. 1400. Military use by 1949, American English.
procurer (n.) Look up procurer at
late 14c., "advocate, spokesman," from Anglo-French procurour, Old French procureur (13c., Modern French procureur), from Latin procuratorem (see procurator). Meaning "contriver" is from mid-15c. Specifically of one who supplies women to gratify the lusts of another from 1630s. Fem. form procuress is shortened from Old French procureresse.
Procyon (n.) Look up Procyon at
bright star in constellation Canis Minoris, 1650s, from Latin, from Greek prokyon, from pro "before" (see pro-) + kyon "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog"); so called from its rising just before the "Dog Star," Sirius. By Roman astronomers, sometimes Latinized as Antecanis.
prod (v.) Look up prod at
1530s, "to poke with a stick," of uncertain origin; possibly [Barnhart] a variant of brod, from Middle English brodden "to goad," from Old Norse broddr "shaft, spike" (see brad), or perhaps imitative [OED]. Figurative sense is recorded from 1871. Related: Prodded; prodding.
prod (n.) Look up prod at
1787, "pointed instrument used in prodding;" 1802, "act of prodding;" from prod (v.).
prodigal (adj.) Look up prodigal at
mid-15c., a back-formation from prodigality, or else from Middle French prodigal and directly from Late Latin prodigalis, from Latin prodigus "wasteful," from prodigere "drive away, waste," from pro "forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + agere "to set in motion, drive; to do, perform" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). First reference is to prodigal son, from Vulgate Latin filius prodigus (Luke xv.11-32). As a noun, "prodigal person," 1590s, from the adjective (the Latin adjective also was used as a noun).
prodigality (n.) Look up prodigality at
mid-14c., from Old French prodigalite (13c., Modern French prodigalité) and directly from Medieval Latin prodigalitatem (nominative prodigalitas) "wastefulness," from Latin prodigialis, from prodigus "wasteful" (see prodigal).
prodigious (adj.) Look up prodigious at
1550s, "ominous," from Middle French prodigieux and directly from Latin prodigiosus "strange, wonderful, marvelous, unnatural," from prodigium (see prodigy). Meaning "vast, enormous" is from c. 1600. Related: Prodigiously; prodigiosity.
prodigy (n.) Look up prodigy at
late 15c., "sign, portent, something extraordinary from which omens are drawn," from Latin prodigium "prophetic sign, omen, portent, prodigy," from pro "forth, before" (see pro-) + -igium, a suffix or word of unknown origin, perhaps from the same source as aio "I say" (see adage). Meaning "child with exceptional abilities" first recorded 1650s. Related: Prodigial.
prodromal (adj.) Look up prodromal at
1717, from Modern Latin prodromus "a running forward" (see prodrome) + -al (1).
prodrome (n.) Look up prodrome at
1640s, from French prodrome (16c.), from Modern Latin prodromus, from Greek prodromos "a running forward, a sally, sudden attack," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + dromos "a running" (see dromedary).
produce (n.) Look up produce at
"thing or things produced," 1690s, from produce (v.), and originally accented like it. Specific sense of "agricultural productions" (as distinguished from manufactured goods) is from 1745.
produce (v.) Look up produce at
early 15c., "develop, proceed, extend," from Latin producere "lead or bring forth, draw out," figuratively "to promote, empower; stretch out, extend," from pro "before, forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, forth") + ducere "to bring, lead," from PIE root *deuk- "to lead." Sense of "bring into being" is first recorded 1510s; that of "put (a play) on stage" is from 1580s. Related: Produced; producing.
producer (n.) Look up producer at
1510s, "one who produces;" agent noun from produce (v.). Of entertainments, from 1891; in political economy, opposed to consumer, from 1784 (Adam Smith).
product (n.) Look up product at
early 15c., "mathematical quantity obtained by multiplication," from Medieval Latin productum, in classical Latin "something produced," noun use of neuter past participle of producere "bring forth" (see produce (v.)). General sense of "anything produced" is attested in English from 1570s.
production (n.) Look up production at
c. 1400, "a coming into being," from Old French production "production, exhibition" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin productionem (nominative productio), from past participle stem of Latin producere "bring forth" (see produce (v.)). Meaning "that which is produced" is mid-15c. Colloquial sense of "fuss, commotion" is from 1941, transferred from meaning "theatrical performance" (1894).
productive (adj.) Look up productive at
1610s, from French productif (16c.) and directly from Medieval Latin productivus "fit for production," from Latin product-, past participle stem of producere (see produce (v.)). Related: Productively; productiveness.
productivity (n.) Look up productivity at
1809, "quality of being productive," from productive + -ity. An earlier word for this was productiveness (1727). Economic sense of "rate of output per unit" is from 1899.
proem (n.) Look up proem at
late 14c., proheme "brief introduction, prelude," from Old French proheme (14c., Modern French proème), from Latin prooemium, from Greek prooimion "prelude" to anything, especially music and poetry, from pro "before" (see pro-) + oimos "way" or oime "song."
prof (n.) Look up prof at
colloquial shortening of professor, attested by 1838.
profanation (n.) Look up profanation at
1550s, from Old French prophanation (15c., Modern French profanation) or directly from Late Latin profanationem (nominative profanatio), noun of action from past participle stem of profanare (see profane (adj.)).
profane (v.) Look up profane at
late 14c., from Old French profaner, prophaner (13c.) and directly from Latin profanare "to desecrate, render unholy, violate," from profanus "unholy, not consecrated" (see profane (adj.)). Related: Profaned; profaning.
profane (adj.) Look up profane at
mid-15c., "un-ecclesiastical, secular," from Old French profane (12c.) and directly from Latin profanus "unholy, not consecrated," according to Barnhart from pro fano "not admitted into the temple (with the initiates)," literally "out in front of the temple," from pro "before" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before") + fano, ablative of fanum "temple" (from PIE root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts). Sense of "unholy, polluted" is recorded from c. 1500. Related: Profanely.
profanity (n.) Look up profanity at
c. 1600, from Late Latin profanitas, from Latin profanus (see profane (adj.)). Extended sense of "foul language" is from Old Testament commandment against "profaning" the name of the Lord.
Blasphemy, Profanity, agree in expressing the irreverent use of words, but the former is the stronger, and the latter the wider. Profanity is language irreverent toward God or holy things, covering especially all oaths that, literally interpreted, treat lightly the attributes or acts of God. Blasphemy is generally more direct, intentional, and defiant in its impiety, and is directed toward the most sacred things in religion. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
profer (v.) Look up profer at
c. 1300, "to utter, express," from Old French proferer (13c.) "utter, present verbally, pronounce," from Latin proferre "to bring forth, produce," figuratively "make known, publish, quote, utter." Sense confused with proffer. Related: Profered; profering.
profess (v.) Look up profess at
early 14c., "to take a vow" (in a religious order), a back-formation from profession or else from Old French profes, from Medieval Latin professus "avowed," literally "having declared publicly," past participle of Latin profiteri "declare openly, testify voluntarily, acknowledge, make public statement of," from pro- "forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + fateri (past participle fassus) "acknowledge, confess," akin to fari "to speak," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say."

Meaning "declare openly" first recorded 1520s, "a direct borrowing of the sense from Latin" [Barnhart]. Related: Professed; professing.
professed (adj.) Look up professed at
"openly declared," 1560s, past participle adjective from profess. Earlier in a more specific sense of "having taken vows of a religious order" (late 14c.). Related: Professedly.
profession (n.) Look up profession at
c. 1200, "vows taken upon entering a religious order," from Old French profession (12c.), from Latin professionem (nominative professio) "public declaration," from past participle stem of profiteri "declare openly" (see profess). Meaning "any solemn declaration" is from mid-14c. Meaning "occupation one professes to be skilled in" is from early 15c.; meaning "body of persons engaged in some occupation" is from 1610; as a euphemism for "prostitution" (compare oldest profession) it is recorded from 1888.
professional (n.) Look up professional at
"one who does it for a living," 1798, from professional (adj.).
professional (adj.) Look up professional at
early 15c., of religious orders; 1747 of careers (especially of the skilled or learned trades from c. 1793); see profession. In sports, opposed to amateur, from 1846. Related: Professionally.
professionalism (n.) Look up professionalism at
1846, from professional (adj.) + -ism.
professionalize (v.) Look up professionalize at
1833, from professional (adj.) + -ize. Related: Professionalized; professionalizing.
professor (n.) Look up professor at
late 14c., "one who teaches a branch of knowledge," from Old French professeur (14c.) and directly from Latin professor "person who professes to be an expert in some art or science; teacher of highest rank," agent noun from profiteri "lay claim to, declare openly" (see profess). As a title prefixed to a name, it dates from 1706. Short form prof is recorded from 1838.
Professor. One professing religion. This canting use of the word comes down from the Elizabethan period, but is obsolete in England. [Thornton, "American Glossary," 1912]
professorial (adj.) Look up professorial at
1713, from professor + -ial.
professorship (n.) Look up professorship at
1640s, from professor + -ship.
proffer (v.) Look up proffer at
"to offer," late 13c., from Anglo-French profrier (mid-13c.), Old French poroffrir (11c.), from por- "forth" (from Latin pro; see pro-) + offrir "to offer," from Latin offerre (see offer (v.)). Related: Proffered; proffering. As a noun from late 14c.
proficiency (n.) Look up proficiency at
1540s, probably from -cy + Latin proficientem (nominative proficiens), present participle of proficere "accomplish, make progress; be useful, do good; have success, profit," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + combining form of facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
proficient (adj.) Look up proficient at
1580s, back-formation from proficiency or else from Old French proficient (15c.), from Latin proficientem (nominative proficiens), present participle of proficere "to make progress, go forward, effect, accomplish, be useful," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + combining form of facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Related: Proficiently.