The Prefix “Pre”

Last updated: December 19, 2017 at 13:34 pm

dawn photoA prefix is a word fixed before a root word to alter or add to its meaning.

Many words in the English language are derived from foreign roots such as Latin and Greek.

The prefix “pre” means before. When fixed in front of a root word, the prefix “pre” gives the meaning of “before.”

Here are some examples.

The dinosaur is a prehistoric animal. The dinosaurs lived “before” the first instance of history was recorded.

The car is a prewar model. That model of car was created “before” the war.

The food is precooked. It was cooked before packaging and you need only warm it after opening.

The soldiers fell into their prearranged positions. Their positions were arranged before the exercise, and they knew exactly where they had to step.

The bicycle predated the automobile. The bicycle came into existence on a date earlier than that of the date of the automobile.

What other words can you think of with the prefix “pre”? Can you figure out their meanings?

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