Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Search Webster
Word starts with Word or meaning contains
Predorsal adjective (Anat.) Situated in front of the back; immediately in front, or on the ventral side the dorsal part of the vertebral column.

Predy adjective [ Confer French prêt ready.] Cleared and ready for engagement, as a ship. Smart.

Preedy adverb With ease. [ Prov. Eng.]

Preef noun Proof. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Preëlect transitive verb To elect beforehand.

Preëlection noun Election beforehand.

Preëminence noun [ French prééminence , Latin praeeminentia . See Preëminent .] The quality or state of being preëminent; superiority in prominence or in excellence; distinction above others in quality, rank, etc.; rarely, in a bad sense, superiority or notoriety in evil; as, preëminence in honor.

The preëminence of Christianity to any other religious scheme.

Painful preëminence ! yourself to view
Above life's weakness, and its comforts too.

Beneath the forehead's walled preëminence .

Preëminent adjective [ Latin praeminens , -entis , present participle praeminere to be prominent, to surpass: confer French prééminent . See Pre- , and Eminent .] Eminent above others; prominent among those who are eminent; superior in excellence; surpassing, or taking precedence of, others; rarely, surpassing others in evil, or in bad qualities; as, preëminent in guilt.

In goodness and in power preëminent .

Preëminently adverb In a preëminent degree.

Preëmploy transitive verb To employ beforehand. " Preëmployed by him." Shak.

Preëmpt transitive verb & i. [ imperfect & past participle Preëmpted ; present participle & verbal noun Preëmpting .] [ See Preëmption .] To settle upon (public land) with a right of preemption, as under the laws of the United States; to take by preëmption.

Preëmption noun [ Prefix pre- + emption : confer French préemption . See Redeem .] The act or right of purchasing before others. Specifically: (a) The privilege or prerogative formerly enjoyed by the king of buying provisions for his household in preference to others. [ Eng.] (b) The right of an actual settler upon public lands (particularly those of the United States) to purchase a certain portion at a fixed price in preference to all other applicants. Abbott.

Preëmptioner noun One who holds a prior right to purchase certain public land. Abbott.

Preëmptive adjective Of or pertaining to preëmption; having power to preëmpt; preëmpting.

Preëmptor noun [ Confer Latin praeemptor .] One who preëmpts; esp., one who preëmpts public land.

Preëmptory adjective Pertaining to preëmption.

Preen noun [ Anglo-Saxon preón a clasp, bodkin; akin to Dutch priem punch, bodkin, awl, German pfriem , Icelandic prjōnn a knitting needle, pin, Danish preen a bodkin, punch.] A forked tool used by clothiers in dressing cloth.

Preen transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Preened ; present participle & verbal noun Preening .] [ See Preen , noun ; or confer Prune .]
1. To dress with, or as with, a preen; to trim or dress with the beak, as the feathers; -- said of birds. Derham.

2. To trim up, as trees. [ Prov. Eng.] Halliwell.

Preëngage transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Preëngaged ; present participle & verbal noun Preëngaging .] To engage by previous contract; to bind or attach previously; to preoccupy.

But he was preëngaged by former ties.

Preëngagement noun Prior engagement, obligation, or attachment, as by contract, promise, or affection.

My preëngagements to other themes were not unknown to those for whom I was to write.

Preërect transitive verb To erect beforehand.

Prees noun Press; throng. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Preëstablish transitive verb To establish beforehand.

Preëstablishment noun Settlement beforehand.

Preëternity noun Infinite previous duration. [ R.] "The world's preëternity ." Cudworth.

Preëxamination noun Previous examination.

Preëxamine transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Preëxamined ; present participle & verbal noun Preëxamining .] To examine beforehand.

Preëxist intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Preëxisted ; present participle & verbal noun Preëxisting .] To exist previously; to exist before something else.

Preëxistence noun
1. Existence in a former state, or previous to something else.

Wisdom declares her antiquity and preëxistence to all the works of this earth.
T. Burnet.

2. Existence of the soul before its union with the body; -- a doctrine held by certain philosophers. Addison.

Preëxistency noun Preëxistence. [ Obsolete]

Preëxistent adjective Existing previously; preceding existence; as, a preëxistent state. Pope.

Preëxistentism noun (Philos.) The theory of a preëxistence of souls before their association with human bodies. Emerson.

Preëxistimation noun Previous esteem or estimation. [ Obsolete] Sir T. Browne.

Preëxpectation noun Previous expectation.

Preface noun [ French préface ; confer Spanish prefacio , prefacion , Italian prefazio , prefazione ; all from Latin praefatio , from praefari to speak or say beforehand; prae before + fari , fatus , to speak. See Fate .]
1. Something spoken as introductory to a discourse, or written as introductory to a book or essay; a proem; an introduction, or series of preliminary remarks.

This superficial tale
Is but a preface of her worthy praise.

Heaven's high behest no preface needs.

2. (R. C. Ch.) The prelude or introduction to the canon of the Mass. Addis & Arnold.

Proper preface (Ch. of Eng. & Prot. Epis. Ch.) , a portion of the communion service, preceding the prayer of consecration, appointed for certain seasons.

Syn. -- Introduction; preliminary; preamble; proem; prelude; prologue.

Preface transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Prefaced ; present participle & verbal noun Prefacing .] To introduce by a preface; to give a preface to; as, to preface a book discourse.

Preface intransitive verb To make a preface. Jer. Taylor.

Prefacer noun The writer of a preface.

Prefatorial adjective Prefatory.

Prefatorily adverb In a prefatory manner; by way of preface.

Prefatory adjective Pertaining to, or of the nature of, a preface; introductory to a book, essay, or discourse; as, prefatory remarks.

That prefatory addition to the Creed.

Prefect noun [ Latin praefectus , from praefectus , past participle of praeficere to set over; prae before + facere to make: confer French préfet .]
1. A Roman officer who controlled or superintended a particular command, charge, department, etc.; as, the prefect of the aqueducts; the prefect of a camp, of a fleet, of the city guard, of provisions; the pretorian prefect , who was commander of the troops guarding the emperor's person.

2. A superintendent of a department who has control of its police establishment, together with extensive powers of municipal regulation. [ France] Brande & C.

3. In the Greek and Roman Catholic churches, a title of certain dignitaries below the rank of bishop.

Apostolic prefect (R. C. Ch.) , the head of a mission, not of episcopal rank. Shipley.

Prefectorial adjective Of or pertaining to a prefect.

Prefectship noun The office or jurisdiction of a prefect.

Prefecture noun [ Latin praefectura : confer French préfecture .] The office, position, or jurisdiction of a prefect; also, his official residence.

Prefecundation noun (Physiol.) A term collectively applied to the changes or conditions preceding fecundation, especially to the changes which the ovum undergoes before fecundation.

Prefecundatory adjective Of or pertaining to prefecundation.

Prefer transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Preferred ; present participle & verbal noun Preferring .] [ French préférer , Latin praeferre ; prae before + ferre to bear or carry. See 1st Bear .]
1. To carry or bring (something) forward, or before one; hence, to bring for consideration, acceptance, judgment, etc.; to offer; to present; to proffer; to address; -- said especially of a request, prayer, petition, claim, charge, etc.

He spake, and to her hand preferred the bowl.

Presently prefer his suit to Cæsar.

Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high.

2. To go before, or be before, in estimation; to outrank; to surpass. [ Obsolete] "Though maidenhood prefer bigamy." Chaucer.

3. To cause to go before; hence, to advance before others, as to an office or dignity; to raise; to exalt; to promote; as, to prefer an officer to the rank of general.

I would prefer him to a better place.

4. To set above or before something else in estimation, favor, or liking; to regard or honor before another; to hold in greater favor; to choose rather; -- often followed by to , before , or above .

If I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
Ps. cxxxvii. 6.

Preferred an infamous peace before a most just war.

Preferred stock , stock which takes a dividend before other capital stock; -- called also preference stock and preferential stock .

Syn. -- To choose; elect. See Choose .

Preferability noun The quality or state of being preferable; preferableness. J. S. Mill.

Preferable adjective [ Confer French préférable .] Worthy to be preferred or chosen before something else; more desirable; as, a preferable scheme. Addison.