pre-

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pre- (e.g. in predicate, preface, premiss, preposition, presage, presence), pref. repr. F. pré- or its source L. præ-, later prē-, i.e. the adv.-prep. præ (of place, rank, time) before, in front, in advance, OL. prai = Oscan prai, prae-, Umbrian pre, cogn. with (O)Ir. ar before, at, in OSl. pri near, and rel. to the groups of PER, prī- (repr. by PRIME, PRIOR), and prð (see PRO-1, PRO-2).

Many L. comps. of various dates are repr. variously in Eng. (see below), chiefly based on vbs. and corr. sbs., with the meanings ‘before’, ‘previously’, ‘in advance’ (in time or order of succession, action, thought, performance, or execution) in adv. relation to the combined el., as in precede, predestine, prefix, preserve, pretend, previous, and as in comprehend, predatory, prehensile; with implication of ‘beyond or over all others’ as in predominate, pre-eminent, prevail; hence as a living prefix, e.g. in prejudge (XII), prepossess (XVII); of anterior position, as in (anat.) precerebellar, -dentate, -hallux. b. In prepositional relation, as in pre-Cambrian, pre-historic, pre-Shakespearian.

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pre- From the Latin prae, meaning ‘before’, a prefix meaning ‘in front of’, ‘earlier than’, ‘more important than’, or ‘better than’.

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pre- From the Latin prae meaning ‘before’, a prefix meaning ‘in front of’, ‘earlier than’, ‘more important than’, or ‘better than’.

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pre- prefix denoting
1. before; preceding.

2. (in anatomy) in front of; anterior to.