word-forming element meaning "before," from Old French pre- and Medieval Latin pre-, both from Latin prae (adverb and preposition) "before in time or place," from PIE *peri- (source also of Oscan prai, Umbrian pre, Sanskrit pare "thereupon," Greek parai "at," Gaulish are- "at, before," Lithuanian prie "at," Old Church Slavonic pri "at," Gothic faura, Old English fore "before"), extended form of root *per- (1) "forward," hence "beyond, in front of, before."
The Latin word was active in forming verbs. Also see prae-. Sometimes in Middle English muddled with words in pro- or per-.
his name is Latinized from his native Italian Cristoforo Colombo, in Spanish Cristóbal Colón.
America was discovered accidentally by a great seaman who was looking for something else, and most of the exploration for the next fifty years was done in the hope of getting through or around it. [S.E. Morison, "The Oxford History of the United States," 1965]
<a href="https://www.etymonline.com/word/pre-Columbian">Etymology of pre-Columbian by etymonline</a>
Harper, D. (n.d.). Etymology of pre-Columbian. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved $(datetime), from https://www.etymonline.com/word/pre-Columbian