Etymology
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at- 
assimilated form of ad- "to, toward, before" before stems beginning in -t-; see ad-. In Old French and Middle English regularly reduced to a-, later restored.
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preter- 

also praeter-, word-forming element meaning "beyond; over, more than in quantity or degree," from Latin praeter (adverb and preposition) "beyond, before, above, more than," properly comparative of prae "before," from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before."

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premarital (adj.)

also pre-marital, "done or occurring before marriage," 1863, from pre- "before" + marital. Phrase pre-marital sex attested from 1953.

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pre-exist (v.)

also preexist, "exist before something else, have a prior existence," 1590s, from pre- "before" + exist. Related: Pre-existed; pre-existing.

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perinatal (adj.)

"of or pertaining to the period just before and just after birth (commonly reckoned at from 1 to 4 weeks before and after birth), 1952, from peri- + natal.

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pre-revolutionary (adj.)

also prerevolutionary, "happening before a revolution," originally especially the American or French revolutions, by 1837 (American Monthly Magazine, October), from pre- "before" + revolution.

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a (1)

indefinite article, form of an used before consonants, mid-12c., a weakened form of Old English an "one" (see an). The disappearance of the -n- before consonants was mostly complete by mid-14c. After c. 1600 the -n- also began to vanish before words beginning with a sounded -h-; it still is retained by many writers before unaccented syllables in h- or (e)u- but is now no longer normally spoken as such. The -n- also lingered (especially in southern England dialect) before -w- and -y- through 15c.

It also is used before nouns of singular number and a few plural nouns when few or great many is interposed.

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B.C. 
abbreviation of Before Christ, in chronology, attested by 1823. The phrase itself, Before Christ, in dating, with exact years, is in use by 1660s.
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pretest 

also pre-test, by 1949 as a verb ("to test before") and noun ("experimental test to assess the questions or methods intended for a projected test"), from pre- "before" + test.

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