pre-, prae-

(Latin: before [both in time and place])

The prefix prae- can actually be substituted for pre- because both of them are different spellings for the same prefix meaning "before".

precedent (s) (noun), precedents (pl)
1. A previous act or instance that may be used as an example in dealing with subsequent similar instances: In law, a judicial decision that may be used as a precedent in comparable cases that take place at a later time.
2. An example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a later time: Margaret set a precedent by being the first woman executive in her company.
5. Etymology: "to go before" in rank or importance, from Modern French preceder, from Latin præcedere, "to go before" from præ-, "before" + cedere, "to go".
Something said or done that is a model for others to do.
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Anything that is said or done that provides an example for others to follow.
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precept (s) (noun), precepts (pl)
1. A rule, instruction, or principle that guides someone's action, especially something which sets standards for moral behavior or conduct: Some people act in accordance with the precept that their proper objectives determine how they should proceed with whatever they are striving to accomplish.
2. Etymology: from Latin praeceptum, "maxim, rule, order"; from praecipere, "to take before, to give rules to, to order, to anticipate"; from prae-, "before" + capere, "to take."
A rule that imposes a particular standard or conduct.
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A practical rule guiding behavior.
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preceptor (s) (noun), preceptors (pl)
1. A teacher or an instructor, especially at a university or college: Mr. Mark Stevens was a preceptor of biology at the educational institution that Tom was attending.
2. Etymology: from Latin pracceptor from praccept, "warned, instructed" from the verb praccipere, "to give rules to, to order, to teach"; from prae-, "before" + capere "to take."
An instructor or teacher.
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preceptorial (adjective); more preceptorial, most preceptorial
1. Referring to or relating to a physician who gives practical training to a medical student: The retired doctor, who had helped the students become familiar with the difficulties of their chosen profession, was the most important preceptorial instructor the students had ever had.
2. Relating generally to a tutor or an instructor: To supplement his scholarship, Davis applied for a preceptorial position in the history department at his college.
3. Etymology: from Latin praeceptor, from praecep, "warned, instructed", from the verb praecipere, precipere, "to warn, to instruct"; from prae, pre, "before" + capere, "to take".
preceptorially (adverb); more preceptorially, most preceptorially
Referring to how something is done or carried out in a manner like a teacher, head of a school department, etc.: Harrison strolled preceptorially across the campus, enjoying his status as a senior instructor at the boys' school.
preceptorship (s) (noun), preceptorships (pl)
A period of practical experience and training for a student, especially someone who is in medicine or nursing and who is supervised by an expert or specialist in a particular field: Hector, the resident completing his preceptorship in the dermatology department, sutured the patient's wound and was watched over carefully by the head surgeon.
preceptress (s) (noun), preceptresses (pl)
1. A woman who is an instructor, teacher, or a tutor especially at an institution of higher learning: Agatha was pleased with her promotion to the position of preceptress at the exclusive women's university.
2. A woman who is the head or principal of a school: The sign on the list of distinguished persons read: Mrs. Johnson, preceptress (1919 - 1925).
precession (s) (noun), precessions (pl)
1. The fact of going in front of something as in a line up, personal importance, etc: The precession of the guests of honour at the banquet was written out for the wait staff to understand.
2. In astronomy: the slow, conical motion of the earth's axis of rotation: Precession is caused by the gravitational attraction of the sun and moon, and to a smaller extent, of the planets, on the equatorial bulge of the earth.

In certain contexts, precession may refer to the precession that the Earth experiences, or the effects of this type of precession on astronomical observation, or to the precession of orbital objects.

precibal (adjective); more precibal, most precibal
Concerning something which occurs before a meal: Steven was used to the important precibal activity of washing his hands before sitting down to eat.
precipice (s) (noun), precipices (pl)
1. An overhanging or extremely steep mass of rock, such as a crag or the face of a cliff: The hikers drew back carefully from the precipice, moving towards safety.
2. The brink of a dangerous or disastrous situation: The school team was on the precipice of defeat.

Before he found out the results of his final examinations, Samuel felt as though he were at the edge of a precipice.
3. Etymology: from "fall to great depth"; from French précipice, from Latin præcipitium, "a steep place"; literally, "a fall" or "leap"; from præceps, præcipitis, "steep, headlong, headfirst"; from prae-, "in front" + caput, "head".

The meaning of "steep face of rock" is recorded from 1632.

precipitable (adjective), more precipitable, most precipitable
Descriptive of that which has been separated and has fallen to the bottom of a solution in a container: The precipitable substances in the test tube sank slowly to the lowest end of the glass cylinder.
precipitance (s) (noun), precipitances (pl)
An action or thought marked by impulsiveness or rash haste: Quite often there is a precipitance, or abruptness, among young people.

The precipitance and quickness of the faculty members in submitting their resignations took the Board of Directors by surprise.

precipitant (s) (noun), precipitants (pl)
1. A substance which causes a separation of chemicals in a solution: The students in the laboratory tried several precipitants in an effort to complete their assignment.
2. A reason or cause of a certain event or action: Jane thought that stress was the precipitant of the development of cancer in her breast.
precipitant (adjective); more precipitant, most precipitant
1. Descriptive of something that has been done with great haste and without due deliberation; regarding someone who is impulsive; hurried: The precipitant people, who were a group of workers, suddenly rushed into the conflict and disagreed about how to remodel the apartment building.

When the rabbit jumped out of the grass, the precipitant action of the horse caused the rider to fall off!
2. Referring to an activity done too quickly and impulsively, often resulting in mistakes: The precipitant behavior of the students trying to complete their examination resulted in silly errors.
3. Etymology: from Latin praeciptans, "cast down headlong" from praecaps, "head foremost, headlong"; from prae-, "before" + caput, "head."

Relating to hasty actions.
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precipitantly (adverb); more precipitantly, most precipitantly
Referring to how something is done with great haste, with rash unadvised haste, or with tumultuous speed: Jane and Bill regretted marrying precipitantly when they were only teenagers and knowing each other for only 2 weeks!

Related before-word units: ante-; antero-; anti-; pro-.

Related "time" units: aevum, evum; archaeo-, archeo-; Calendars; chrono-; horo-; Quotes: Time; tempo-.