Entries linking to preselection
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."
1620s, "act of selecting, action of choosing, fact of being selected or chosen," from Latin selectionem (nominative selectio) "a choosing out, choice, selection," noun of action from past-participle stem of seligere "choose out, single out, select; separate, cull" (see select (adj.)).
The meaning "thing selected, a number of things chosen, a particular choice" is from 1805. The biological sense of "separation of those forms of life which are to survive and reproduce from those which are not" is by 1837 in reference to systematic breeding of plants and animals by humans (methodical selection), hence its extended use by Darwin (1857) in reference to the results of the impersonal agency of nature and time (natural selection). French sélection is a 19c. borrowing from English.
updated on October 22, 2020