Words related to precipitation


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-.

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "head."

It forms all or part of: achieve; behead; biceps; cabbage; cabochon; caddie; cadet; cap; cap-a-pie; cape (n.1) "garment;" cape (n.2) "promontory;" capital (adj.); capital (n.3) "head of a column or pillar;" capitate; capitation; capitulate; capitulation; capitulum; capo (n.1) "leader of a Mafia family;" capo (n.2) "pitch-altering device for a stringed instrument;" caprice; capsize; captain; cattle; caudillo; chapter; chef; chief; chieftain; corporal (n.); decapitate; decapitation; forehead; head; hetman; kaput; kerchief; mischief; occipital; precipice; precipitate; precipitation; recapitulate; recapitulation; sinciput; triceps.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit kaput-; Latin caput "head;" Old English heafod, German Haupt, Gothic haubiþ "head."
precipitate (v.)

1520s, "to hurl or fling down" (from a precipice or height), a back formation from precipitation or else from Latin praecipitatus, past participle of praecipitare "to throw or dive headlong; be hasty," from praeceps (genitive praecipitis) "steep, headlong, headfirst," from prae "before, forth" (see pre-) + caput "head" (from PIE root *kaput- "head").

Earliest use in English is figurative, "to hurl or cause (someone) to fall (into some state or condition).  Meaning "to cause to happen suddenly, hurry the beginning of" is recorded from 1620s. The chemical sense "cause to fall as a sediment to the bottom of a vessel" is from 1620s (intransitive sense from 1640s). The meteorological sense (intransitive) is attested by 1863. Related: Precipitated; precipitating.

precipitate (n.)

1560s, in chemistry, "any substance which, having been dissolved in a fluid, falls to the bottom of the vessel on the addition of some other substance producing decomposition of the compound," probably a back formation from precipitation. In meteorology, "moisture condensed from vapor by cooling and deposited as rain, etc.," by 1832.

precipitous (adj.)

1640s, "rash, done with excessive or undue haste" (a sense now obsolete), also "rushing headlong, violently hurried," from obsolete French precipiteux (16c.), from Vulgar Latin *praecipitosus, from praecipitare "to throw or dive headlong; be hasty" (see precipitation). Meaning "high and steep" is from 1806. Related: Precipitously; precipitousness.