privatise (v.) Look up privatise at
chiefly British English spelling of privatize (q.v.); for suffix, see -ize. Related: Privatised; privatisation.
privative (adj.) Look up privative at
1580s, "expressing negation" (as do the prefixes un-, a- (2), etc.), from Latin privativus "denoting privation, negative," from privatus, past participle of privare (see private).
privatization (n.) Look up privatization at
1944, in reference to German economic policies in the 1930s, from private (adj.) + -ization. Re-privatisation is attested by 1939.
privatize (v.) Look up privatize at
1966, back-formation from privatization (q.v.). Re-privatise is attested from 1942. Related: Privatized; privatizing.
privet (n.) Look up privet at
type of evergreen shrub, 1540s, of unknown origin. Early forms primet, primprint perhaps suggest some connection with prime [Klein].
privilege (n.) Look up privilege at
mid-12c. "grant, commission" (recorded earlier in Old English, but as a Latin word), from Old French privilege "right, priority, privilege" (12c.) and directly from Latin privilegium "law applying to one person, bill of law in favor of or against an individual," later "privilege," from privus "individual" (see private (adj.)) + lex (genitive legis) "law" (see legal (adj.)). Meaning "advantage granted" is from mid-14c. in English.
privilege (v.) Look up privilege at
early 14c., privilegen, "to invest with a privilege," from privilege (n.) and from Old French privilegier (13c.), from Medieval Latin privilegare, from Latin privilegium. Related: Privileged; priviledging.
privileged (adj.) Look up privileged at
late 14c. of things; mid-15c. of persons, past participle adjective from privilege (v.).
privity (n.) Look up privity at
early 13c., from Old French privité, priveté "privacy; a secret, private matter" (c. 1200), from prive "private," from Latin privus (see private (adj.)).
privy (adj.) Look up privy at
"private," early 13c., from Old French privé "friendly, intimate; a private place," from Latin privatus "private, personal" (see private (adj.)). Meaning "participating in (a secret)" (usually with to) is attested from late 14c. Related: Privily. Privy Council is from c. 1300 in a general sense; specifically of the British government, first attested late 14c., as consaile priue. Privy member "organ of sex" is from late 13c.
privy (n.) Look up privy at
"toilet," c. 1200, from Old French privé, privee "latrine," literally "private place," from noun use of adjective privé (see privy (adj.)).
prix fixe Look up prix fixe at
meal served at a fixed price, 1883, French, literally "fixed price" (see price (n.) and fix (v.)).
prize (n.1) Look up prize at
"reward," prise (c. 1300 in this sense), from Old French pris "price, value, worth; reward" (see price (n.)). As an adjective, "worthy of a prize," from 1803. The spelling with -z- is from late 16c. Prize-fighter is from 1703; prize-fight from 1730 (prize-fighter from 1785).
prize (n.2) Look up prize at
"something taken by force," mid-13c., prise "a taking, holding," from Old French prise "a taking, seizing, holding," noun use of fem. past participle of prendre "to take, seize," from Latin prendere, contraction of prehendere "lay hold of, grasp, seize, catch" (see prehensile). Especially of ships captured at sea (1510s). The spelling with -z- is from late 16c.
prize (v.) Look up prize at
"to estimate," 1580s, alteration of Middle English prisen "to prize, value" (late 14c.), from stem of Old French preisier "to praise" (see praise (v.)). Related: Prized; prizing.
prized (adj.) Look up prized at
"highly esteemed," 1530s, adjective from prize (n.1.), or from past participle of Middle English prisen "to prize, value" (late 14c.), from stem of Old French preisier "to praise" (see praise (v.)).
pro (n.1) Look up pro at
1866, shortening of professional (n.). The adjective is first recorded 1915 (in golfing's pro shop).
pro (n.2) Look up pro at
"a consideration or argument in favor," c. 1400, from Latin pro (see pro-). Pro and con is attested from c. 1400, short for pro and contra "for and against" (Latin pro et contra).
pro bono Look up pro bono at
short for Medieval Latin pro bono publico "for the public good;" see pro- + bene-.
pro forma Look up pro forma at
also proforma, Latin, literally "for form's sake, by way of formality;" see pro- + form (n.).
pro rata Look up pro rata at
1570s, from Latin pro rata (parte) "according to the calculated (share)," from pro "for" (see pro-) + rata, ablative singular of ratus, past participle of reri "to count, reckon" (see rate (n.)).
pro tanto Look up pro tanto at
Latin, literally "for so much; to such an extent;" see pro- + tantamount.
pro tem Look up pro tem at
1828, short for pro tempore.
pro tempore Look up pro tempore at
Latin, literally "for the time (being)." Abbreviated form pro tem is attested by 1828.
pro- Look up pro- at
word-forming element meaning "forward, forth, toward the front" (as in proclaim, proceed); "beforehand, in advance" (prohibit, provide); "taking care of" (procure); "in place of, on behalf of" (proconsul, pronoun); from Latin pro "on behalf of, in place of, before, for, in exchange for, just as," which also was used as a prefix.

Also in some cases from cognate Greek pro "before, in front of, sooner," which also was used in Greek as a prefix (as in problem). Both the Latin and Greek words are from PIE *pro- (cognates: Sanskrit pra- "before, forward, forth;" Gothic faura "before," Old English fore "before, for, on account of," fram "forward, from;" Old Irish roar "enough"), extended form of root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).

The common modern sense "in favor of, favoring" (pro-independence, pro-fluoridation, pro-Soviet, etc.) was not in classical Latin and is attested in English from early 19c.
pro-am (adj.) Look up pro-am at
"including professional and amateur players," 1949.
pro-choice (adj.) Look up pro-choice at
"favoring a right to abortion," 1975, from pro- + choice.
pro-life (adj.) Look up pro-life at
"opposed to abortion," first attested 1976, from pro- + life. Hostile alternative anti-choice attested 1978 in Ms. magazine (see pro-choice).
What hypocrisy to call such anti-humanitarian people 'pro-life.' Call them what they are -- antichoice. ["Ms.," Oct. 8, 1978]
pro-slavery (adj.) Look up pro-slavery at
1825, from pro- + slavery.
proactive (adj.) Look up proactive at
also pro-active, of persons or policies, as an opposition to reactive, 1921, from pro- + active. From 1933, in psychology (learning theory). Related: Proactively; proactiveness; proactivity.
probabilistic (adj.) Look up probabilistic at
1855, in a theological sense, from probabilist (1650s, from French probabiliste, 17c., from Latin probabilis, see probable) + -ic. Meaning "pertaining to probability" is from 1951. Related: Probabilism.
probability (n.) Look up probability at
mid-15c., "quality of being probable," from Old French probabilite (14c.) and directly from Latin probabilitatem (nominative probabilitas) "credibility, probability," from probabilis (see probable). Meaning "something likely to be true" is from 1570s; mathematical sense is from 1718.
probable (adj.) Look up probable at
late 14c., from Old French probable "provable, demonstrable" (14c.), from Latin probabilis "worthy of approval, pleasing, agreeable, acceptable; provable, that may be assumed to be believed, credible," from probare "to try, to test" (see prove). Probable cause as a legal term is attested from 1670s.
probably (adv.) Look up probably at
mid-15c., "plausibly," from probable + -ly (2). As a general purpose qualifier, 1610s.
proband (n.) Look up proband at
1929, from Latin probandus, gerundive of probare "to make good, esteem good; make credible, show, prove, demonstrate" (see prove).
probate (n.) Look up probate at
"official proving of a will," c. 1400, from Latin probatum "a thing proved," neuter of probatus "tried, tested, proved," past participle of probare "to try, test, prove" (see prove).
probate (v.) Look up probate at
1560s, "to prove," from probate (n.) or from Latin probatus, past participle of probare. Specific sense of "prove the genuineness of a will" is from 1792. Related: Probated; probating.
probation (n.) Look up probation at
early 15c., "trial, experiment, test," from Old French probacion "proof, evidence" (14c., Modern French probation) and directly from Latin probationem (nominative probatio) "approval, assent; a proving, trial, inspection, examination," noun of action from past participle stem of probare "to test" (see prove). Meaning "testing of a person's conduct" (especially as a trial period for membership) is from early 15c.; theological sense first recorded 1520s; criminal justice sense is recorded by 1866. As a verb from 1640s. Related: Probationer; probationary.
probative (adj.) Look up probative at
mid-15c., from Latin probativus "belonging to proof," from probat-, past participle stem of probare (see prove).
probe (n.) Look up probe at
early 15c., "instrument for exploring wounds, etc.," also "an examination," from Medieval Latin proba "examination," in Late Latin "a test, proof," from Latin probare (see prove). Meaning "act of probing" is 1890, from the verb; figurative sense of "penetrating investigation" is from 1903. Meaning "small, unmanned exploratory craft" is attested from 1953.
probe (v.) Look up probe at
1640s, originally figurative; "to search thoroughly, interrogate;" from probe (n.) and partly from Latin probare. Literal sense of "to examine with a probe" is from 1680s. Related: Probed; probing; probingly.
probity (n.) Look up probity at
early 15c., from Middle French probité, from Latin probitatem (nominative probitas) "uprightness, honesty," from probus "worthy, good" (see prove).
problem (n.) Look up problem at
late 14c., "a difficult question proposed for solution," from Old French problème (14c.) and directly from Latin problema, from Greek problema "a task, that which is proposed, a question;" also "anything projecting, headland, promontory; fence, barrier;" also "a problem in geometry," literally "thing put forward," from proballein "propose," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + ballein "to throw" (see ballistics).

Meaning "a difficulty" is mid-15c. Mathematical sense is from 1560s in English. Problem child first recorded 1920. Phrase _______ problem in reference to a persistent and seemingly insoluble difficulty is attested at least from 1882, in Jewish problem. Response no problem "that is acceptable; that can be done without difficulty" is recorded from 1968.
problematic (adj.) Look up problematic at
c. 1600, "doubtful, questionable," from French problematique (15c.), from Late Latin problematicus, from Greek problematikos "pertaining to a problem," from problematos, genitive of problema (see problem). Specific sense in logic, differentiating what is possible from what is necessarily true, is from 1610s. Related: Problematical (1560s); problematically.
proboscis (n.) Look up proboscis at
c. 1600, "elephant's trunk," from Latin proboscis (Pliny), from Greek proboskis "elephant's trunk," literally "means for taking food," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + boskein "to nourish, feed," from boskesthai "graze, be fed," from stem *bot- (source of botane "grass, fodder;" see botanic).
procaine (n.) Look up procaine at
1918, from pro- + cocaine.
procedural (adj.) Look up procedural at
1876, from procedure + -al (1). Related: Procedurally.
procedure (n.) Look up procedure at
1610s, "fact or manner of proceeding," from French procédure "manner of proceeding" (c. 1200), from Old French proceder "to proceed" (see proceed). Meaning "method of conducting business in Parliament" is from 1839.
proceed (v.) Look up proceed at
late 14c., "to go on," also "to emanate from, result from," from Old French proceder (13c., Modern French procéder) and directly from Latin procedere (past participle processus) "go before, go forward, advance, make progress; come forward," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + cedere "to go" (see cede). Related: Proceeded; proceeding.
proceeding (n.) Look up proceeding at
1510s, "action of going forward," verbal noun from proceed (v.). From 1550s as "what is done, conduct." Proceedings "records of the doings of a society" is attested by 1824.