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-.
early 15c., "to choose for an office, position, or duty," from Latin electus, past participle of eligere "to pick out, choose," from ex "out" (see ex-) + -ligere, combining form of legere "to choose," from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather." Related: Elected; electing.
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<a href="https://www.etymonline.com/word/pre-elect">Etymology of pre-elect by etymonline</a>
Harper, D. (n.d.). Etymology of pre-elect. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved $(datetime), from https://www.etymonline.com/word/pre-elect