prepense (adj.)

"planned beforehand, premeditated," 1702, short for prepensed, prepenst (mid-15c.), past-participle adjective from obsolete verb prepense "consider beforehand," originally purpense, from Old French pourpenser "to plan, meditate" (11c.), from pro "before" (see pro-) + penser "to think," from Latin pensare "weigh, consider," frequentative of pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh; pay" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin").

Usually in the legal phrase malice prepense (with French word order) "wrong or injury purposefully done or planned in advance" (see malice). This is attested from mid-15c. as malice prepensed. Related: Prepensive.

updated on October 19, 2020