Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Earlier; before; prior to: prehistoric.
  • Preparatory; preliminary: premedical.
  • In advance: prepay.
  • Anterior; in front of: preaxial.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • Before; used to form words meaning "in front of (in space)".
  • Before; used to form words meaning "before (in time)".

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A prefix denoting priority (of time, place, or rank); ; preëminent eminent before or above others. Pre- is sometimes used intensively, .

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A prefix in words of Latin origin, meaning ‘before,’ in place, time, or rank.
  • n. In petrography, in the quantitative system of classification of igneous rocks (see rock), a prefix used to indicate that one factor predominates over another to an extent greater than 5:3: as, prealkalic, precalcic, prefelic, etc.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin prae-, from prae, before, in front; see per1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin preposition prae ("before"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.