before, in front
Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The prefix pre-, which means “before,” appears in numerous English vocabulary words, for example: predict, prevent, and prefix! An easy way to remember that the prefix pre- means “before” is through the word prevent, for when you come “before” something else to stop it from happening, you prevent it.
"Pre-": The Prefix of Prefixes
Today we will focus on the prefix pre-, which means “before.” Prefixes are morphemes which begin words, attaching to a word’s main part, or root, adding to the meaning of the word in some way. The word prefix itself has the prefix pre- in it. A prefix is an affix which is fastened or fixed “before” the primary root or stem of a word.
When you try to prevent something, you come “before” it to put a halt to it, thereby keeping it from happening. Someone who is being precise cuts off all inaccuracies “beforehand” to keep only the exact facts. If you’re filled with prejudice towards a particular person, you have judged her “before” knowing her full story.
When you preview a movie, you see it “beforehand” to see if it’s appropriate for younger viewers. By seeing the movie ahead of time, you don’t have to predict or say “beforehand” whether the movie is good or not, since not all predictions are accurate. In this way you prepare in advance, getting ready “before” it’s too late. This is a fine way of taking a precaution, or a being careful “beforehand.”
Sometimes it’s hard for voters to know for whom they will prefer to vote, or which candidate they will carry “before” others when it comes to casting their ballot. It can be a hard choice to know for whom to vote for president, or that person who sits “before” us all governing the country.
Hopefully this preview of the prefix pre- will lead towards precision “before” seeing any words with pre- in them!
- prefix: morpheme fastened ‘before’ a root of a word
- prevent: come ‘before’
- precise: cut ‘before’
- prejudice: judge ‘before’
- preview: see ‘before’
- predict: say ‘before’
- prepare: get ready ‘before’
- precaution: a being cautious ‘beforehand’
- prefer: carry ‘before’ others
- president: leader who sits ‘before’ all others
- The Fascinating Parts of Words Morphology is the study of how words are put together by using morphemes, which include prefixes, roots, and suffixes. Parsing the different morphemes in a word reveals meaning and part of speech. For instance, the word “invention” includes the prefix in- + the root vent + the suffix -ion, from which is formed the noun “invention.”
- Etymology: Word Origins Etymology is that part of linguistics that studies word origins. English vocabulary words are formed from many different sources, especially Latin and Greek. By determining the origins of the morphemes in English words, one is better able to remember and determine the dictionary definitions of words.
To precipitate something is to bring it about before its time or very quickly.
If you have a predilection for something, you have a preference for it.
A first event is a precursor to a second event if the first event is responsible for the development or existence of the second.
A precept is a rule or principle that teaches correct behavior.
To presage a future event is to give a sign or warning that something (usually) bad is about to happen.
Prefatory comments refer to an introduction to a book or speech.
A precocious child shows advanced intelligence or skill at an unusually young age.
Something or someone that is unprepossessing is not impressive or is unattractive.
A preponderance of things of a particular type in a group means that there are more of that type than of any other.
When you are presumptuous, you act improperly, rudely, or without respect, especially while attempting to do something that is not socially acceptable or that you are not qualified to do.
If you prevaricate, you avoid giving a direct or honest answer, usually because you want to hide the truth or want to delay or avoid making a hard decision.
Someone who is prescient knows or is able to predict what will happen in the future.
Something that is omnipresent appears to be everywhere at the same time or is ever-present.
A preamble is an introduction to a formal document that explains the document's purpose.
A precipitous cliff or drop is very steep or falls sharply.
When you preclude something from happening, you prevent it from doing so.
A preconception is a conceived notion that you already have, usually in the form of a bias or prejudice of some kind.
A predecessor comes before someone else in a job or is an ancestor of someone.
If you are in a predicament, you are in a difficult situation or unpleasant mess that is hard to get out of.
If someone is predisposed to something, they are made favorable or inclined to it in advance, or they are made susceptible to something, such as a disease.
Something predominant is the most important or the most common thing in a group.
Your prerogative is your right or privilege to do something.
Something unprecedented has never occurred; therefore, it is unusual, original, or new.
If you are pretentious, you think you are really great in some way and let everyone know about it, despite the fact that it's not the case at all.
A preliminary action is one that comes before and leads up to a main occurrence.
A prejudice against another person—of whom there is no previous knowledge—is an unfair judgment, opinion, or dislike of them.
A premise to an argument is a foundation or idea upon which the argument is based.
To prevail against someone is to defeat them or be stronger than they are.
A prelude is an introduction to a musical piece or something that comes before an event.
When something prefigures a future occurrence, it foreshadows, hints at, or suggests that it may very well happen.
When you predict something, you say what is going to happen in the future.
When you prevent something, you keep it from happening.
When you prepare for something, such as a test, you get ready for it.
When you prefer one thing over another, you like it or want it more than the other thing.
Something that happened at a previous time happened earlier or before the present time.
When you preserve something, such as a forest or food, you take care of it to keep it from being used or harmed.
be earlier in time
the act of predicting (as by reasoning about the future)
furnish with a preface or introduction
attach a prefix to
the state of being pregnant
consider, ponder, or plan (an action) beforehand
a function word that combines with a noun or pronoun or noun phrase to form a prepositional phrase that can have an adverbial or adjectival relation to some other word
give an exhibition of to an interested audience
the act of preventing
Back to Roots
- ante- before
- pro- before
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