Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to pro-

fro (adv., prep.)
"away, backwards," c. 1200, Northern English and Scottish dialectal fra, Midlands dialect fro, from Old Norse fra "from," from Proto-Germanic *fra "forward, away from," from PIE *pro- (see pro-), extended form of root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before, toward, near," etc. The Norse word is equivalent to Old English fram, thus fro is a doublet of from.
Advertisement
from (prep., adv.)
Old English fram, preposition denoting departure or movement away in time or space, from Proto-Germanic *fra "forward, away from" (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic fram "from, away," Old Norse fra "from," fram "forward"), from PIE *pro-mo-, suffixed form of *pro (see pro-), extended form of root *per- (1) "forward." The Germanic sense of "moving away" apparently evolved from the notion of "forward motion." It is related to Old English fram "forward; bold; strong," and fremian "promote, accomplish" (see frame (v.)).
impromptu (adv.)

1660s, from French impromptu (1650s), from Latin in promptu "in readiness," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + promptu, ablative of promptus "ready, prepared; set forth, brought forward," from past participle of promere "to bring out," from pro "before, forward, for" (see pro-) + emere "obtain" (from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute"). From 1764 as an adjective; as a noun from 1680s.

malapropos (adv.)

"unsuitably, unseasonably," 1660s, from French mal à propos "inopportunely, inappropriately," literally "badly for the purpose," from mal (see mal-) + proposer "to propose, advance, suggest," from pro "forth" (see pro-) + poser "put, place" (see pose (v.1)). As an adjective, "inappropriate, out of place," by 1711.

P 

sixteenth letter of the English alphabet, descended from the Greek pi; the form of it is a pi with the second limb curved around to meet the first. A rare letter in the initial position in Germanic, in part because by Grimm's Law PIE p- became Germanic f-; even including the early Latin borrowings in Old English, "P" has only a little over 4 pages in J.R. Clark Hall's "Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary," compared to 31 pages for B and more than 36 for F. But it now is the third-most-common initial letter in the English vocabulary, and with C and S comprises nearly a third of the dictionary, a testimony to the flood of words that have entered the language since 1066 from Latin, Greek, and French, especially those in pre- and pro-.

Between -m- and another consonant, an unetymological -p- sometimes is inserted (Hampstead, Thompson) to indicate that the -m- is sounded as in words such as Simpson. To mind one's Ps and Qs (1779), possibly is from confusion of these letters among children learning to write. Another theory traces it to old-time tavern-keepers tracking their patrons' bar tabs in pints and quarts. But see also to be P and Q (1610s), "to be excellent," a slang or provincial phrase said to derive from prime quality.

P-wave is from 1908 in geology, the p representing primary (adj.). The U.S. Navy World War II PT boat (1942) stands for patrol torpedo.

pollution (n.)

mid-14c., pollucioun, "discharge of semen other than during sex," later, "desecration, profanation, defilement, legal or ceremonial uncleanness" (late 14c.), from Late Latin pollutionem (nominative pollutio) "defilement," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin polluere "to soil, defile, contaminate," probably from *por- "before" (a variation of pro "before, for;" see pro-) + -luere "smear," from PIE root *leu- "dirt; make dirty" (see lutose). Sense of "contamination of the environment" is recorded from c. 1860, but not common until c. 1955.

porrect (v.)

early 15c., "to offer, hand over; extend, stretch out," from Latin porrectus, past participle of porrigere "to stretch or spread out; reach out to, offer, present," from *por-, variation of pro "before, for" (see pro-) + regere "to lead straight, rule" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). Surviving, if at all, in ecclesiastical legal language. Related: Porrection.

portend (v.)

"to presage, foreshadow, signify in advance," early 15c., portenden, from Latin portendere "foretell, reveal; point out, indicate," originally "to stretch forward," from por- (variant of pro-; see pro-) "forth, forward" + tendere "to stretch, extend," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." The literal Latin sense "stretch forth, extend" was occasional in English 17c.-18c. Related: Portended; portending.

portray (v.)

mid-13c., portraien, "to draw, paint" (something), from Anglo-French purtraire, Old French portraire "to draw, to paint, portray" (12c.), literally "trace, draw forth," from por- "forth" (from Latin pro-; see pro-) + traire "trace, draw," from Latin trahere "to drag, draw" (see tract (n.1)). Meaning "depict in words, describe" is from late 14c. Related: Portrayed; portrayer; portraying.

Latin protrahere was "to draw forth" but in Medieval Latin also "to draw, paint."

post (n.1)

"a timber of considerable size set upright," from Old English post "pillar, doorpost," and from Old French post "post, upright beam," both from Latin postis "door, post, doorpost," in Medieval Latin "a beam, rod, pole," which is perhaps from Vulgar Latin *por- "forth," a variant of pro- (see pro-) + stare "to stand" (from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm").

Similar compounds are Sanskrit prstham "back, roof, peak," Avestan parshti "back," Greek pastas "porch in front of a house, colonnade," Middle High German virst "ridgepole," Lithuanian pirštas, Old Church Slavonic pristu "finger" (PIE *por-st-i-).

Later also of metal. As a type of hardness, lifelessness, deafness by early 15c.

Page 2