Etymology
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post factum 

Latin, literally "after the fact," from post "behind, after, afterward" + factum "deed, act" (see post- + fact).

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post hoc 
Latin, "after this." Especially in post hoc, ergo propter hoc, logical fallacy, literally "after this, therefore because of this."
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post meridiem 

"after noon, occurring after the sun has passed the meridian," applied to the time between noon and midnight, 1640s, Latin, from post "after" (see post-) + accusative of meridies "midday, noon" (see meridian).

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post office (n.)

1650s, "public department in charge of letter-carrying," from post (n.3) + office. Meaning "building where postal business is carried on, office or place where letters are received for transmission," is from 1650s. In slang or euphemistic sense of "a sexual game" it refers to an actual parlor game first attested early 1850s in which pretend "letters" were paid for by kisses.

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post restante 

direction on mail that it be held at that post office until called for, French, literally "remaining post." Hence, place in a post office where letters so addressed are kept until the recipients call for them.

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Prester John 

c. 1300, Prestre Johan, legendary medieval Christian king and priest, said to have ruled either in the Far East or Ethiopia. Prestre (attested as a surname late 12c.) is 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 militarily threatened on its frontiers by Muslim powers, dreaming of a mythical deliverer. Compare Old French prestre Jehan (13c.), Italian prete Gianni.

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pret a porter (adj.)

denoting clothes sold in standard sizes, 1957, from French prêt à porter, "ready-to-wear." For pret, see presto. Porter is literally "to carry," from Latin portare "to carry" (from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over"). For a similar sense evolution, compare German kleider tragen.

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prima donna (n.)

also primadonna, 1782, "principal female singer in an opera," from Italian prima donna "first lady," from Latin prima, fem. of primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + domina "lady" (see dame). Extended meaning "temperamental person" is attested by 1834.

The erroneous form premadonna (or pre-madonna) is attested from at least 1950s and increasingly after 1990s. Not to be confused with the adjective pre-Madonna (by 1991), in reference to popular music before the rise to stardom of Madonna (Madonna Louise Ciccone), c. 1985.

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prima facie (adv.)

of a case established by sufficient evidence, "manifestly, in a manner apparent to all," late 15c., Latin, literally "at first sight," ablative of prima facies "first appearance," from prima, fem. singular of primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + facies "form, face" (see face (n.)).

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prime minister 

"leading minister of a government, the chief of the cabinet or ministry," 1640s, see prime (adj.) and minister (n.). Applied to the First Minister of State of Great Britain since 1694.

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