Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Contemplated or arranged in advance; premeditated.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To consider beforehand; think upon in advance.
  • To plan or devise beforehand; contrive previously.
  • To reflect or meditate beforehand.
  • Considered and planned beforehand; premeditated; purposed; intentional: generally in the phrase malice prepense (formerly also prepensed malice).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To weigh or consider beforehand; to premeditate.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To deliberate beforehand.
  • adjective Devised, contrived, or planned beforehand; preconceived; premeditated; aforethought; -- usually placed after the word it qualifies.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Devised, contrived, or planned beforehand; preconceived, premeditated.
  • verb obsolete, transitive To weigh or consider beforehand; to consider.
  • verb intransitive To deliberate beforehand.

Etymologies

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

[From Middle English, past participle of purpensen, to premeditate, from Anglo-Norman purpenser : pur-, before (from Latin pro-; see pro–) + penser, to think (from Latin pēnsāre; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from prepensed, probably from Anglo-Norman prepenser.

Examples

  • “My charity I own cannot invent an excuse for the prepense malice with which the character and service of this gentleman are murdered,” Madison wrote of Morris in June.

    Robert Morris

  • “My charity I own cannot invent an excuse for the prepense malice with which the character and service of this gentleman are murdered,” Madison wrote of Morris in June.

    Robert Morris

  • For you will remember that it is only four or five days since his advocates of malice prepense attacked me with slanderous accusations, and began to charge me with practice of the black art and with the murder of my step-son Pontianus.

    The Defense

  • For you will remember that it is only four or five days since his advocates of malice prepense attacked me with slanderous accusations, and began to charge me with practice of the black art and with the murder of my step-son Pontianus.

    The Defense

  • I did by accident not of malice prepense; and quoth he,

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • He would show, as Ibsen shows, and with an equal lack of malice prepense, various detestable features which the mask of good manners had concealed.

    Henrik Ibsen

  • He would show, as Ibsen shows, and with an equal lack of malice prepense, various detestable features which the mask of good manners had concealed.

    Henrik Ibsen

  • The Princess became somewhat alarmed; she was besides extremely good-natured, nor had her intentions of leading the old man into what would render him ridiculous, been so accurately planned with malice prepense, as they were the effect of accident and chance.

    Count Robert of Paris

  • THAT the author of the said work applied himself to his task in malice prepense and with wickedness aforethought; a fact which, your Dedicator contends, is sufficiently demonstrated, by his assuming the name of Quiz, which, your Dedicator submits, denotes a foregone conclusion, and implies an intention of quizzing.

    Sketches by Boz

  • This same looping up was not without good reason and purpose prepense; thereby all the world had full view of a beautiful little ear, which looked as if it had been cut of cameo, and made, as my Lady Rich once told him,

    Westward Ho!

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