1580s, "to estimate the value of; value highly," spelling alteration of Middle English prisen "to reckon the worth of, value, esteem, praise" (late 14c.), from stem of Old French preisier "to praise" (see praise (v.)). Related: Prized; prizing.
late 14c., preferren, "to put forward or advance in rank or fortune, to promote (to an office, dignity, or position); further (one's interest)," from Old French preferer (14c.) and directly from Latin praeferre "place or set before, carry in front," from prae "before" (see pre-) + ferre "to carry, to bear," from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children."
The meaning "to esteem or value (something) more than others, set before others in liking or esteem" also is recorded from late 14c. and is now the usual sense. The other sense in English is preserved in preferment.
1560s, "to prove" (a general sense now obsolete), from probate (n.) or from Latin probatus, past participle of probare "to make good; esteem, represent as good; make credible, show, demonstrate; test, inspect; judge by trial." Specific sense of "prove the genuineness of a will" is from 1792. Related: Probated; probating.
"expressions or signs of esteem, deference, or compliment," 1610s; see respect (n.). Earlier (late 14c.) as "aspects, particular respects." For "expression of regard," Middle English had respeccioun (respection), from Latin. To pay (one's) respects "show polite attention by visiting or making a call" is by 1660s.