prep (v.) Look up prep at
slang shortening of prepare, 1908. Related: Prepped; prepping.
preparation (n.) Look up preparation at
late 14c., "act of preparing," from Latin praeparationem (nominative praeparatio) "a making ready," noun of action from past participle stem of praeparare "prepare," from prae "before" (see pre-) + parare "make ready" (see pare). Meaning "a substance especially prepared" is from 1640s.
preparatory (adj.) Look up preparatory at
early 15c., from Late Latin praeparatorius, from Latin praeparatus (see preparation). Earlier in same sense was preparative (late 14c.). Applied from 1822 to junior schools in which pupils are "prepared" for a higher school.
prepare (v.) Look up prepare at
mid-15c., a back formation from preparation and in part from Middle French preparer (14c.), from Latin praeparare "make ready beforehand" (see preparation). Related: Prepared; preparing. Be prepared as the Boy Scouts' motto is attested from 1911.
preparedness (n.) Look up preparedness at
1580s, from prepared + -ness.
prepay (v.) Look up prepay at
also pre-pay, 1839, originally of postage, from pre- + pay (v.). Related: Prepaid; prepayment.
prepend (v.) Look up prepend at
"ponder, consider," 1560s, from pre- + Latin pendere "to weigh" (see pendant). Related: Prepended; prepending.
prepense (adj.) Look up prepense at
"planned beforehand," c. 1700, short for prepensed (1520s), past participle adjective from obsolete prepense, originally purpense, from Old French pourpenser "to plan, meditate" (11c.), from pro- "before" (see pro-) + penser "to think" (see pensive).
preponderance (n.) Look up preponderance at
1680s, "greater weight," from Latin praeponderans, present participle of praeponderare "make heavier" (see preponderate). Sense of "greater importance" is from 1780; that of "greater number" is from 1845.
preponderant (adj.) Look up preponderant at
mid-15c., from Latin praeponderantem (nominative praeponderans), present participle of praeponderare (see preponderate).
preponderate (v.) Look up preponderate at
1610s, "to weigh more than," from Latin praeponderatus, past participle of praeponderare "outweigh, make heavier," from prae "before" (see pre-) + ponderare "to weigh" (see pound (n.1)). Meaning "to exceed in force or power" is from 1799. Related: Preponderation.
preponderous (adj.) Look up preponderous at
1700, from preponderate + -ous. Related: Preponderously.
preposition (n.) Look up preposition at
late 14c., from Latin praepositionem (nominative praepositio) "a putting before, a prefixing," noun of action from past participle stem of praeponere "put before," from prae "before" (see pre-) + ponere "put, set, place" (past participle positus; see position (n.)). In grammatical use, a loan-translation of Greek prothesis, literally "a setting before."
prepositional (adj.) Look up prepositional at
1754, from preposition + -al (1).
prepossess (v.) Look up prepossess at
1610s, "to get possession of beforehand," from pre- + possess. Meaning "to possess (a person) beforehand with a feeling, notion, etc." is from 1630s; specifically, "to cause (someone) to have a favorable opinion of something" (1640s). Related: Prepossessed; prepossessing.
prepossessing (adj.) Look up prepossessing at
1640s, "causing prejudice," present participle adjective from prepossess. Opposite meaning "causing agreeable first impression" first recorded 1805.
prepossession (n.) Look up prepossession at
1640s, noun of action from prepossess (v.).
preposterous (adj.) Look up preposterous at
1540s, from Latin praeposterus "absurd, contrary to nature, inverted, perverted, in reverse order," literally "before-behind" (compare topsy-turvy, cart before the horse), from prae "before" + posterus "subsequent." Related: Preposterously; preposterousness.
preppie (n.) Look up preppie at
"student at a preparatory school," 1962, also preppy; see prep. As an adjective from 1966. An older variant in the noun sense was prepper (1921), also prepster (1938).
preprandial (adj.) Look up preprandial at
also pre-prandial, 1822, from pre- + Latin prandium "luncheon" (see postprandial).
preprint (v.) Look up preprint at
also pre-print, 1913, from pre- + print (v.). Related: Preprinted; preprinting.
preprint (n.) Look up preprint at
1889, from pre- + print (n.).
preprocess (v.) Look up preprocess at
also pre-process, 1956, from pre- + process (v.). Related: Preprocessed; preprocessing.
Preprocessed foods are not only here but are gaining such a tremendous acceptance that soon there will be little else on the market. This eliminates the need for mixing, peeling, blending and other devices used in the preparation of raw foods. "Popular Mechanics" October 1956]
preprogram (v.) Look up preprogram at
also pre-program, 1955, from pre- + program (v.). Related: Preprogrammed; preprogramming.
prepubescent (adj.) Look up prepubescent at
also pre-pubescent, 1883 (in Gerald Massey's "The Natural Genesis"), from pre- + pubescent. An older word in the same sense was impuberal (1829), from Latin impubes.
prepublication (adj.) Look up prepublication at
1903, from pre- + publication.
prepuce (n.) Look up prepuce at
c. 1400, from Old French prepuce, from Latin praeputium "foreskin," possibly from præ- "before" (see pre-) + *putos "penis." Earlier in English as prepucy (late 14c.), directly from Latin.
prequel (n.) Look up prequel at
1973, from pre-, based on sequel (n.).
prerecord (v.) Look up prerecord at
also pre-record, 1936, of music, from pre- + record (v.). Related: Prerecorded; prerecording.
prerequisite Look up prerequisite at
1630s (n.) "something required beforehand," 1650s (adj.), "required beforehand," both from pre- + requisite.
prerogative (n.) Look up prerogative at
"special right or privilege granted to someone," late 14c. (in Anglo-Latin from late 13c.), from Old French prerogative (14c.), Medieval Latin prerogativa "special right," from Latin praerogativa "prerogative, previous choice or election," originally (with tribus, centuria) "unit of 100 voters who by lot voted first in the Roman comita," noun use of fem. of praerogativus (adj.) "chosen to vote first," from praerogere "ask before others," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + rogare "to ask" (see rogation).
presage (n.) Look up presage at
late 14c., "something that portends," from Latin praesagium "a foreboding," from praesagire "to perceive beforehand, forebode," from praesagus (adj.) "perceiving beforehand, prophetic," from prae "before" (see pre-) + sagus "prophetic," related to sagire "perceive" (see sagacious).
presage (v.) Look up presage at
1560s, from Middle French présager (16c.), from présage "omen," from Latin praesagium (see presage (n.)). Related: Presaged; presaging.
presby- Look up presby- at
word-forming element meaning "old," from Greek presby-, combining form of presbys "elder, old man," possibly originally "one who leads the cattle," from *pres- "before," extended form of *pre- (see per) + root of bous "cow." Watkins, however, has it from PIE *pres-gwu- "going before," with second element from root *gw-u- "going" (see venue).
presbycousis (n.) Look up presbycousis at
"loss of hearing acuteness due to age," 1890, medical Latin (by 1886 in German), from Greek presbys "elder, old man" (see presby-) + akousis "hearing," from akouein "to hear" (see acoustic). Related: Presbyotic.
presbyopia (n.) Look up presbyopia at
"far-sightedness brought on by age," 1791, medical Latin, from Greek presbys "old man" (see presby-) + -opia, from ops "eye" (see eye (n.)). Related: Presbyopic.
presbyter (n.) Look up presbyter at
"elder of the Christian church," 1590s, from Late Latin presbyter, used for "a priest" in Jerome and Prudentius, from Greek presbyteros "older," comparative of presbys "old; old man" (see presby-).
Presbyterian (adj., n.) Look up Presbyterian at
1640, in reference to the Scottish church governed by elders (as opposed to bishops), from presbyter "an elder in a church" (1590s), from Late Latin presbyter "an elder," from Greek presbyteros "an elder," also an adjective meaning "older," comparative of presbys "old" (see presby-).

Presbyterial was used from c. 1600 in the sense "of or pertaining to a presbytery;" also from 1590s as "presbyterian" (adj.).
presbytery (n.) Look up presbytery at
"part of a church reserved for the clergy," early 15c., from Church Latin presbyterium, from Greek presbyterion, from presbyteros "an elder" (see Presbyterian). Meaning "body of elders in the Presbyterian system" is recorded from 1570s.
preschool (adj.) Look up preschool at
also pre-school, 1886, from pre- + school (n.); the noun is from 1910. Related: pre-schooling; pre-schooler.
prescience (n.) Look up prescience at
late 14c., from Old French prescience (13c.) and directly from Late Latin praescientia "fore-knowledge," from *praescientem, present participle of *praescire "to know in advance," from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + scire "to know" (see science).
prescient (adj.) Look up prescient at
1620s, from Middle French prescient (15c.) and directly from Latin praescientem (nominative praesciens), present participle of praescire (see prescience).
prescreen (v.) Look up prescreen at
also pre-screen, 1952, of movies, from pre- + screen (v.). Related: Prescreened; prescreening.
prescribe (v.) Look up prescribe at
"to write down as a direction," mid-15c., from Latin praescribere "write beforehand" (see prescription). Related: Prescribed; prescribing. Medical sense is from 1580s, probably a back formation from prescription.
prescription (n.) Look up prescription at
late 14c., in law, "the right to something through long use," from Old French prescription (13c.) and directly from Latin praescriptionem (nominative praescriptio) "a writing before, order, direction," noun of action from past participle stem of praescribere "write before, prefix in writing; ordain, determine in advance," from prae "before" (see pre-) + scribere "to write" (see script (n.)). Medical sense of "written directions from a doctor" first recorded 1570s.
prescriptive (adj.) Look up prescriptive at
1748, from Late Latin praescriptivus, from praescript-, past participle stem of praescribere (see prescription). Or formed in English from archaic prescript "a direction" (1530s), from Latin praescriptum.
preselect (v.) Look up preselect at
also pre-select, 1856, from pre- + select (v.). Related: Preselected; preselecting.
preselection (n.) Look up preselection at
also pre-selection, 1882, from pre- + selection.
presence (n.) Look up presence at
mid-14c., "fact of being present," from Old French presence (12c., Modern French présence), from Latin praesentia "a being present," from praesentem (see present (n.)). Meaning "carriage, demeanor, aspect" (especially if impressive) is from 1570s; that of "divine, spiritual, or incorporeal being felt as present" is from 1660s. Presence of mind (1660s) is a loan-translation of French présence d'esprit, Latin praesentia animi.
present (adj.) Look up present at
c. 1300, "existing at the time," from Old French present "evident, at hand, within reach;" as a noun, "the present time" (11c., Modern French présent) and directly from Latin praesentem (nominative praesens) "present, at hand, in sight; immediate; prompt, instant; contemporary," from present participle of præesse "be before (someone or something), be at hand," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + esse "to be" (see essence). Meaning "being there" is from mid-14c. in English. As a grammatical tense, recorded from late 14c.