Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Preferableness noun The quality or state of being preferable.

Preferably adverb In preference; by choice.

To choose Plautus preferably to Terence.
Dennis.

Preference noun [ Confer French préférence .]
1. The act of Preferring, or the state of being preferred; the setting of one thing before another; precedence; higher estimation; predilection; choice; also, the power or opportunity of choosing; as, to give him his preference .

Leave the critics on either side to contend about the preference due to this or that sort of poetry.
Dryden.

Knowledge of things alone gives a value to our reasonings, and preference of one man's knowledge over another's.
Locke.

2. That which is preferred; the object of choice or superior favor; as, which is your preference ?

Preferential adjective Giving, indicating, or having a preference or precedence; as, a preferential claim; preferential shares.

Preferential voting (Political Science) A system of voting, as at primaries, in which the voters are allowed to indicate on their ballots their preference (usually their first and second choices) between two or more candidates for an office, so that if no candidate receives a majority of first choices the one receiving the greatest number of first and second choices together in nominated or elected.

Preferment noun
1. The act of choosing, or the state of being chosen; preference. [ R.]

Natural preferment of the one . . . before the other.
Sir T. Browne.

2. The act of preferring, or advancing in dignity or office; the state of being advanced; promotion.

Neither royal blandishments nor promises of valuable preferment had been spared.
Macaulay.

3. A position or office of honor or profit; as, the preferments of the church.

Preferrer noun One who prefers.

Prefidence noun The quality or state of being prefident. [ Obsolete] Baxter.

Prefident adjective [ Confer Latin praefidens overconfident. See Pre- , and Confident .] Trusting beforehand; hence, overconfident. [ Obsolete] Baxter.

Prefigurate transitive verb [ Latin praefiguratus , past participle See Prefigure .] To prefigure. [ R.] Grafton.

Prefiguration noun [ Latin praefiguratio .] The act of prefiguring, or the state of being prefigured.

A variety of prophecies and prefigurations .
Norris.

Prefigurative adjective Showing by prefiguration. "The prefigurative atonement." Bp. Horne.

Prefigure transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Prefigured ; present participle & verbal noun Prefiguring .] [ French préfigurer , or Latin praefigurare , praefiguratum ; prae before + figurare to figure. See Figure , and confer Prefigurate .] To show, suggest, or announce, by antecedent types and similitudes; to foreshadow. "Whom all the various types prefigured ." South.

Prefigurement noun The act of prefiguring; prefiguration; also, that which is prefigured. Carlyle.

Prefine transitive verb [ Latin praefinire ; prae before + finire to limit, determine: confer French préfiner .] To limit beforehand. [ Obsolete] Knolles.

Prefinite adjective [ Latin praefinitus , past participle ] Prearranged. [ Obsolete] " Set and prefinite time." Holland.

Prefinition noun [ Latin praefinitio .] Previous limitation. [ Obsolete] Fotherby.

Prefix transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Prefixed ; present participle & verbal noun Prefixing .] [ Latin praefixus , past participle of praefigere to fix or fasten before; prae before + figere to fix: confer French pr é fix fixed beforehand, determined, pr é fixer to prefix. See Fix.]


1. To put or fix before, or at the beginning of, another thing; as, to prefix a syllable to a word, or a condition to an agreement.

2. To set or appoint beforehand; to settle or establish antecedently. [ Obsolete] " Prefixed bounds. " Locke.

And now he hath to her prefixt a day.
Spenser.

Prefix noun [ Confer French pr é fixe .] That which is prefixed; esp., one or more letters or syllables combined or united with the beginning of a word to modify its signification; as, pre- in pre fix, con- in con jure.

Prefixion noun [ Confer Old French prefixion .] The act of prefixing. [ R.] Bailey.

Prefloration noun [ Prefix pre- + Latin flos , floris , flower.] (Botany) Æstivation.

Prefoliation noun [ Prefix pre- + Latin folium leaf.] (Botany) Vernation.

Preform transitive verb [ Latin praeformare . See Pre- , and Form .] To form beforehand, or for special ends. "Their natures and preformed faculties. " Shak.

Preformation noun (Biol.) An old theory of the preëxistence of germs. Confer Emboîtement .

Preformative noun A formative letter at the beginning of a word. M. Stuart.

Prefrontal adjective (Anat. & Zoology) Situated in front of the frontal bone, or the frontal region of the skull; ectethmoid, as a certain bone in the nasal capsule of many animals, and certain scales of reptiles and fishes. -- noun A prefrontal bone or scale.

Prefulgency noun [ Latin praefulgens , present participle of praefulgere to shine forth. See Pre- , and Fulgent .] Superior brightness or effulgency. [ R.] Barrow.

Pregage transitive verb To preëngage. [ Obsolete] Fuller.

Preglacial adjective (Geol.) Prior to the glacial or drift period.

Pregnable adjective , [ French prenable . See Impregnable .] Capable of being entered, taken, or captured; expugnable; as, a pregnable fort. [ R.] Cotgrave.

Pregnance noun Pregnancy. [ Obsolete] Milton.

Pregnancy noun
1. The condition of being pregnant; the state of being with young.

2. Figuratively: The quality of being heavy with important contents, issue, significance, etc.; unusual consequence or capacity; fertility. Fuller.

Pregnant adjective [ Latin praegnans , -antis ; prae before + genere , gignere , to beget: confer French prégnant . See Gender , 2d Kin .]


1. Being with young, as a female; having conceived; great with young; breeding; teeming; gravid; preparing to bring forth.

2. Heavy with important contents, significance, or issue; full of consequence or results; weighty; as, pregnant replies. " A pregnant argument." Prynne. " A pregnant brevity." E. Everett.

3. Full of promise; abounding in ability, resources, etc.; as, a pregnant youth. [ Obsolete] Evelyn.

Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
Shak.

Pregnant construction (Rhet.) , one in which more is implied than is said; as, the beasts trembled forth from their dens, that is, came forth trembling with fright.

Pregnant noun A pregnant woman. [ R.] Dunglison.

Pregnant adjective [ French prenant taking. Confer Pregnable .] Affording entrance; receptive; yielding; willing; open; prompt. [ Obsolete] " Pregnant to good pity." Shak.

Pregnantly adverb In a pregnant manner; fruitfully; significantly.

Pregnantly adverb Unresistingly; openly; hence, clearly; evidently. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Pregravate transitive verb [ Latin praegravatus , past participle of praegravare to be heavy upon, from praegravis very heavy.] To bear down; to depress. [ Obsolete] Bp. Hall.

Pregravitate intransitive verb To descend by gravity; to sink. [ R.] Boyle.

Pregustant adjective [ Latin praegustans , present participle of praegustare to taste beforehand; prae before + gustare to taste.] Tasting beforehand; having a foretaste. [ R.] Ed. Rev.

Pregustation noun The act of tasting beforehand; foretaste. [ R.] Dr. Walker (1678).

Prehallux noun [ New Latin See Pre- , and Hallux .] (Anat.) An extra first toe, or rudiment of a toe, on the preaxial side of the hallux.

Prehend transitive verb [ Latin prehendere . See Prehensile .] To lay hold of; to seize. [ Obsolete] Middleton.

Prehensi-ble adjective [ Confer French préhensible .] Capable of being seized.

Prehensile adjective [ Latin prehensus , past participle of prehendere to lay hold of, seize; pre- (equiv. to prae before) + hendere (in comp.), akin to English get : confer French préhensile . See Get , and confer Prison , Prize , noun ] Adapted to seize or grasp; seizing; grasping; as, the prehensile tail of a monkey.

Prehension noun [ Latin prehensio ; confer French préhension . See Prehensile .] The act of taking hold, seizing, or grasping, as with the hand or other member.

Prehensory adjective Adapted to seize or grasp; prehensile.

Prehistoric adjective Of or pertaining to a period before written history begins; as, the prehistoric ages; prehistoric man.

Prehnite noun [ So called from the German Colonel Prehn , who first found it.] (Min.) A pale green mineral occurring in crystalline aggregates having a botryoidal or mammillary structure, and rarely in distinct crystals. It is a hydrous silicate of alumina and lime.

Prehnitic adjective (Chemistry) Pertaining to, or designating, a tetrabasic acid of benzene obtained as a white crystalline substance; -- probably so called from the resemblance of the wartlike crystals to the mammillæ on the surface of prehnite.