Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Preterition noun [ Latin praeteritio : confer French prétérition .]
1. The act of passing, or going past; the state of being past. Bp. Hall.

2. (Rhet.) A figure by which, in pretending to pass over anything, a summary mention of it is made; as, "I will not say, he is valiant, he is learned, he is just." Called also paraleipsis .

3. (Law) The omission by a testator of some one of his heirs who is entitled to a portion. Bouvier.

Preteritive adjective (Gram.) Used only or chiefly in the preterit or past tenses, as certain verbs.

Preteritness noun The quality or state of being past. Bentley. Lowell.

Preterlapsed adjective [ Latin praeterlapsus , past participle of praeterlabi to glide by. See Preter- , Lapse .] Past; as, preterlapsed ages. [ R.] Glanvill.

Preterlegal adjective [ Prefix preter- + legal .] Exceeding the limits of law. [ R.]

Pretermission noun [ Latin praetermissio . See Pretermit .]
1. The act of passing by or omitting; omission. Milton.

2. (Rhet.) See Preterition .

Pretermit transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Pretermitted ; present participle & verbal noun Pretermitting .] [ Latin praetermittere , praetermissum ; praeter beyond + mittere to send. See Mission .] To pass by; to omit; to disregard. Bacon.

Preternatural adjective [ Prefix preter + natural .] Beyond of different from what is natural, or according to the regular course of things, but not clearly supernatural or miraculous; strange; inexplicable; extraordinary; uncommon; irregular; abnormal; as, a preternatural appearance; a preternatural stillness; a preternatural presentation (in childbirth) or labor.

This vile and preternatural temper of mind.
South.

Syn. -- See Supernatural .

Preternaturalism noun The state of being preternatural; a preternatural condition.

Preternaturality noun Preternaturalness. [ R.] Dr. John Smith.

Preternaturally adverb In a preternatural manner or degree. Bacon.

Preternaturalness noun The quality or state of being preternatural.

Preterperfect adjective & noun [ Prefix preter- + perfect .] (Gram.) Old name of the tense also called preterit .

Preterpluperfect adjective & noun [ Prefix preter- + pluperfect .] (Gram.) Old name of the tense also called pluperfect .

Pretertiary adjective (Geol.) Earlier than Tertiary.

Pretervection noun [ Latin praetervectio , from praetervehere to carry beyond. See Invection .] The act of carrying past or beyond. [ R.] Abp. Potter.

Pretex transitive verb [ Latin praetexere . See Pretext .] To frame; to devise; to disguise or excuse; hence, to pretend; to declare falsely. [ Obsolete]

Pretext noun [ French prétexte , Latin praetextum , from praetextus , past participle of praetexere to weave before, allege as an excuse; prae before + texere to weave. See Text .] Ostensible reason or motive assigned or assumed as a color or cover for the real reason or motive; pretense; disguise.

They suck the blood of those they depend on, under a pretext of service and kindness.
L'Estrange.

With how much or how little pretext of reason.
Dr. H. More.

Syn. -- Pretense; excuse; semblance; disguise; appearance. See Pretense .

Pretexture noun A pretext. [ Obsolete]

Pretibial adjective (Anat.) Situated in front of the tibia.

Pretor noun [ Latin praetor , for praeitor , from praeire to go before; prae before + ire to go. See Issue .]
1. (Rom. Antiq.) A civil officer or magistrate among the ancient Romans.

» Originally the pretor was a kind of third consul; but at an early period two pretors were appointed, the first of whom ( praetor urbanus ) was a kind of mayor or city judge; the other ( praetor peregrinus ) was a judge of cases in which one or both of the parties were foreigners. Still later, the number of pretors, or judges, was further increased.

2. Hence, a mayor or magistrate. [ R.] Dryden.

Pretorial adjective Pretorian. Burke.

Pretorian adjective [ Latin praetorians : confer French prétorien .] Of or pertaining to a pretor or magistrate; judicial; exercised by, or belonging to, a pretor; as, pretorian power or authority.

Pretorian bands or guards , or Pretorians (Rom. Hist.) , the emperor's bodyguards, instituted by the Emperor Augustus in nine cohorts of 1,000 men each. -- Pretorian gate (Rom. Antiq.) , that one of the four gates in a camp which lay next the enemy. Brande & C.

Pretorian noun A soldier of the pretorian guard.

Pretorium noun [ Latin praetorium , from praetor .]
1. The general's tent in a Roman camp; hence, a council of war, because held in the general's tent.

2. The official residence of a governor of a province; hence, a place; a splendid country seat.

Pretorship noun The office or dignity of a pretor. J. Warton

Pretorture transitive verb To torture beforehand. Fuller.

Prettily adverb In a pretty manner.

Prettiness noun The quality or state of being pretty; -- used sometimes in a disparaging sense.

A style . . . without sententious pretension or antithetical prettiness .
Jeffrey.

Pretty adjective [ Compar. Prettier ; superl. Prettiest .] [ Middle English prati , Anglo-Saxon prættig , prætig , crafty, sly, akin to præt , prætt , deceit, trickery, Icelandic prettugr tricky, prettr a trick; probably from Latin, perhaps through Celtic; confer W. praith act, deed, practice, Late Latin practica execution, practice, plot. See Practice .]
1. Pleasing by delicacy or grace; attracting, but not striking or impressing; of a pleasing and attractive form a color; having slight or diminutive beauty; neat or elegant without elevation or grandeur; pleasingly, but not grandly, conceived or expressed; as, a pretty face; a pretty flower; a pretty poem.

This is the prettiest lowborn lass that ever
Ran on the greensward.
Shak.

2. Moderately large; considerable; as, he had saved a pretty fortune. "Wavering a pretty while." Evelyn.

3. Affectedly nice; foppish; -- used in an ill sense.

The pretty gentleman is the most complaisant in the world.
Spectator.

4. Mean; despicable; contemptible; -- used ironically; as, a pretty trick; a pretty fellow.

5. Stout; strong and brave; intrepid; valiant. [ Scot.]

[ He] observed they were pretty men, meaning not handsome.
Sir W. Scott.

Syn. -- Elegant; neat; fine. See Handsome .

Pretty adverb In some degree; moderately; considerably; rather; almost; -- less emphatic than very ; as, I am pretty sure of the fact; pretty cold weather.

Pretty plainly professes himself a sincere Christian.
Atterbury.

Pretty-spoken adjective Spoken or speaking prettily. [ Colloq.]

Prettyish adjective Somewhat pretty. Walpole.

Prettyism noun Affectation of a pretty style, manner, etc. [ R.] Ed. Rev.

Pretypify transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Pretypified ; present participle & verbal noun Pretypifying .] To prefigure; to exhibit previously in a type. Bp. Pearson.

Pretzel noun [ German pretzel , bretzel . Confer Bretzel .] A kind of German biscuit or cake in the form of a twisted ring, salted on the outside.

Prevail intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Prevailed ; present participle & verbal noun Prevailing .] [ French prévaloir , Old French prevaleir , Latin praevalere ; prae before + valere to be strong, able, or worth. See Valiant .]
1. To overcome; to gain the victory or superiority; to gain the advantage; to have the upper hand, or the mastery; to succeed; -- sometimes with over or against .

When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed , and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed .
Ex. xvii. 11.

So David prevailed over the Philistine.
1 Sam. xvii. 50.

This kingdom could never prevail against the united power of England .
Swift.

2. To be in force; to have effect, power, or influence; to be predominant; to have currency or prevalence; to obtain; as, the practice prevails this day.

This custom makes the short-sighted bigots, and the warier skeptics, as far as it prevails .
Locke.

3. To persuade or induce; -- with on , upon , or with ; as, I prevailed on him to wait.

He was prevailed with to restrain the Earl.
Clarendon.

Prevail upon some judicious friend to be your constant hearer, and allow him the utmost freedom.
Swift.

Prevailing adjective
1. Having superior force or influence; efficacious; persuasive. Shak.

Saints shall assist thee with prevailing prayers.
Rowe.

2. Predominant; prevalent; most general; as, the prevailing disease of a climate; a prevailing opinion.

Syn. See Prevalent .

Prevailingly adverb So as to prevail.

Prevailment noun Prevalence; superior influence; efficacy. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Prevalence noun [ Latin praevalentia : confer French prévalence . See Prevail .] The quality or condition of being prevalent; superior strength, force, or influence; general existence, reception, or practice; wide extension; as, the prevalence of virtue, of a fashion, or of a disease; the prevalence of a rumor.

The duke better knew what kind of argument were of prevalence with him.
Clarendon.

Prevalency noun See Prevalence .

Prevalent adjective [ Latin praevalens , -entis , present participle of praevalere . See Prevail .]
1. Gaining advantage or superiority; having superior force, influence, or efficacy; prevailing; predominant; successful; victorious.

Brennus told the Roman embassadors, that prevalent arms were as good as any title.
Sir W. Raleigh.

2. Most generally received or current; most widely adopted or practiced; also, generally or extensively existing; widespread; prevailing; as, a prevalent observance; prevalent disease.

This was the most received and prevalent opinion.
Woodward.

Syn. -- Prevailing; predominant; successful; efficacious; powerful. -- Prevalent , Prevailing . What customarily prevails is prevalent ; as, a prevalent fashion. What actually prevails is prevailing ; as, the prevailing winds are west. Hence, prevailing is the livelier and more pointed word, since it represents a thing in action. It is sometimes the stronger word, since a thing may prevail sufficiently to be called prevalent , and yet require greater strength to make it actually prevailing .

Prevalently adverb In a prevalent manner. Prior.

Prevaricate intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Prevaricated ; present participle & verbal noun Prevaricating .] [ Latin praevaricatus , past participle of praevaricari to walk crookedly, to collude; prae before + varicare to straddle, from varicus straddling, varus bent. See Varicose .]
1. To shift or turn from one side to the other, from the direct course, or from truth; to speak with equivocation; to shuffle; to quibble; as, he prevaricates in his statement.

He prevaricates with his own understanding.
South.

2. (Civil Law) To collude, as where an informer colludes with the defendant, and makes a sham prosecution.

3. (Eng. Law) To undertake a thing falsely and deceitfully, with the purpose of defeating or destroying it.

Syn. -- To evade; equivocate; quibble; shuffle. -- Prevaricate , Evade , Equivocate . One who evades a question ostensibly answers it, but really turns aside to some other point. He who equivocate uses words which have a double meaning, so that in one sense he can claim to have said the truth, though he does in fact deceive, and intends to do it. He who prevaricates talks all round the question, hoping to "dodge" it, and disclose nothing.

Prevaricate transitive verb To evade by a quibble; to transgress; to pervert. [ Obsolete] Jer. Taylor.

Prevarication noun [ Latin praevaricatio : confer French prévarication .]
1. The act of prevaricating, shuffling, or quibbling, to evade the truth or the disclosure of truth; a deviation from the truth and fair dealing.

The august tribunal of the skies, where no prevarication shall avail.
Cowper.

2. A secret abuse in the exercise of a public office.

3. (Law) (a) (Roman Law) The collusion of an informer with the defendant, for the purpose of making a sham prosecution. (b) (Common Law) A false or deceitful seeming to undertake a thing for the purpose of defeating or destroying it. Cowell.

Prevaricator noun [ Latin praevaricator : confer French prévaricateur .]
1. One who prevaricates.

2. (Roman Law) A sham dealer; one who colludes with a defendant in a sham prosecution.

3. One who betrays or abuses a trust. Prynne.

Preve intransitive verb & i. To prove. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Preve noun Proof. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.