mid-15c., prescriben, "to write down as a direction, law, or rule," from Latin praescribere "write before, prefix in writing; ordain, determine in advance," from prae "before" (see pre-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut"). Related: Prescribed; prescribing. Medical sense of "advise, appoint, or designate as a remedy for a disease" is from 1580s, probably a back formation from prescription.
updated on October 22, 2020
Dictionary entries near prescribe