1. a prefix occurring originally in loanwords from Latin, where it meant “before” (preclude; prevent); applied freely as a prefix, with the meanings “prior to,” “in advance of,” “early,” “beforehand,” “before,” “in front of,” and with other figurative meanings (preschool; prewar; prepay; preoral; prefrontal).

Origin of pre-

<Latin prae-, prefixal use of prae (preposition and adv.); akin to first, fore-, prior1, pro1
  • Also prae- .

Words Nearby pre-

Other definitions for P.R.E. (2 of 2)


  1. Petroleum Refining Engineer. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pre- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pre-


  1. before in time, rank, order, position, etc: predate; pre-eminent; premeditation; prefrontal; preschool

Origin of pre-

from Latin prae-, from prae before, beforehand, in front

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