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    production (n.) — promenade (v.)

    production (n.)

    c. 1400, produccioun, "a coming into being," from Old French production "production, exhibition" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin productionem (nominative productio) "a prolonging, lengthening," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin producere "bring forth" (see produce (v.)). Meaning "that which is produced" is mid-15c. Colloquial sense of "fuss, commotion" is from 1941, transferred from the meaning "theatrical performance" (1894).ETD production (n.).2

    productive (adj.)

    1610s, "serving to produce," from French productif (16c.) and directly from Medieval Latin productivus "fit for production," from Latin product-, past-participle stem of producere "bring forth" (see produce (v.)). Meaning "fertile, producing abundantly" is by 1706. Related: Productively; productiveness.ETD productive (adj.).2

    productivity (n.)

    1809, "quality of being productive," from productive + -ity. An earlier word for this was productiveness (1727). Economic sense of "rate of output per unit" is from 1899.ETD productivity (n.).2

    product (n.)

    early 15c., "mathematical quantity obtained by multiplication," from Medieval Latin productum, in classical Latin "something produced," noun use of neuter past participle of producere "bring forth" (see produce (v.)). General sense of "anything produced" is attested in English from 1570s; political economy sense of "what is produced commercially for sale" is by 1890.ETD product (n.).2

    proem (n.)

    late 14c., proheme "brief introduction, preface, prelude" (of a narrative, book, etc.), from Old French proheme (14c., Modern French proème), from Latin prooemium, from Greek prooimion "prelude," to anything, especially music and poetry, from pro "before" (see pro-) + oimē "song, chant, saga, tale," which perhaps is related to oimos "way." Related: Proemial.ETD proem (n.).2

    prof (n.)

    colloquial shortening of professor, attested by 1838.ETD prof (n.).2

    profanation (n.)

    "act of violating sacred things or treating them with contempt or irreverence," 1550s, from French profanation (Old French prophanation, 15c.) or directly from Late Latin profanationem (nominative profanatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of profanare "render unholy, deprive of sanctity" (see profane (adj.)).ETD profanation (n.).2

    profanity (n.)

    c. 1600, "profaneness, quality of being profane, profane language or conduct," from Late Latin profanitas "profaneness," from Latin profanus (see profane (adj.)). Extended sense of "foul language" is from Old Testament commandment against "profaning" the name of the Lord. Apparently a rare word before 19c.ETD profanity (n.).2

    profane (v.)

    "desecrate, treat (holy things) with irreverence," late 14c., prophanen, from Old French profaner, prophaner (13c.) and directly from Latin profanare (in Medieval Latin often prophanare) "to desecrate, render unholy, violate," from profanus "unholy, not consecrated" (see profane (adj.)). Related: Profaned; profaning.ETD profane (v.).2

    profane (adj.)

    mid-15c., prophane, "un-ecclesiastical, secular, not devoted to sacred purposes, unhallowed," from Old French prophane, profane (12c.) and directly from Latin profanus (in Medieval Latin often prophanus) "unholy, not sacred, not consecrated;" of persons "not initiated" (whence, in Late Latin, "ignorant, unlearned"), also "wicked, impious."ETD profane (adj.).2

    According to Lewis & Short, de Vaan, etc., this is from the phrase pro fano, literally "out in front of the temple" (here perhaps with a sense of "not admitted into the temple (with the initiates)," from pro "before" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before") + fano, ablative of fanum "temple" (from PIE root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts). The sense of "irreverent toward God or holy things" is from 1550s. Related: Profanely.ETD profane (adj.).3

    profer (v.)

    c. 1300, proferen, "to utter, express," from Old French proferer (13c.) "utter, present verbally, pronounce" and directly from Latin proferre "to bring forth, produce," figuratively "make known, publish, quote, utter." The sense is confused with proffer, and the word now is archaic or obsolete. Related: Profered; profering.ETD profer (v.).2

    profession (n.)

    c. 1200, professioun, "vows taken upon entering a religious order," from Old French profession (12c.) and directly from Latin professionem (nominative professio) "public declaration," noun of action from past-participle stem of profiteri "declare openly" (see profess).ETD profession (n.).2

    The meaning "any solemn declaration" is from mid-14c. Meaning "occupation one professes to be skilled in, a calling" is from early 15c.; meaning "body of persons engaged in some occupation" is from 1610; as a euphemism for "prostitution" (compare oldest profession) it is recorded from 1888.ETD profession (n.).3

    professed (adj.)

    "openly declared, self-acknowledged," 1560s, past-participle adjective from profess. It was used earlier in a more specific sense of "having taken vows of a religious order" (late 14c.). Related: Professedly.ETD professed (adj.).2

    profess (v.)

    early 14c., professen, "to take a vow" (in a religious order), a back-formation from profession or else from Medieval Latin professare, from professus "avowed," literally "having declared publicly," past participle of Latin profiteri "declare openly, testify voluntarily, acknowledge, make public statement of," from pro- "forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + fateri (past participle fassus) "acknowledge, confess" (akin to fari "to speak," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say").ETD profess (v.).2

    The meaning "declare openly" is recorded from 1520s, "a direct borrowing of the sense from Latin" [Barnhart]. Related: Professed; professing.ETD profess (v.).3

    professionalize (v.)

    1833, transitive, "to render professional;" 1890, intransitive, "to become professional;" from professional (adj.) + -ize. Related: Professionalized; professionalizing.ETD professionalize (v.).2

    professional (n.)

    "a professional person, one who follows a trade or occupation in a professional way," 1798, from professional (adj.).ETD professional (n.).2

    professionalism (n.)

    1846, "characteristic ideas or methods of professional persons," from professional (adj.) + -ism. In late 19c., in sports and amusements, sometimes with a negative sense, implying pursuit of some activity so marked as to be objectionable or offensive (1879).ETD professionalism (n.).2

    professional (adj.)

    mid-15c., profeshinalle, in reference to the profession of religious orders; see profession. By 1747 of careers, "pertaining to or appropriate to a profession or calling" (especially of the skilled or learned trades from c. 1793); In sports and amusements, "undertaken or engaged in for money" (opposed to amateur), by 1846. Related: Professionally.ETD professional (adj.).2

    professor (n.)

    late 14c., professour, "one who teaches a branch of knowledge," especially in a university, from Old French professeur (14c.) and directly from Latin professor "person who professes to be an expert in some art or science; teacher of highest rank," agent noun from profiteri "lay claim to, declare openly" (see profess). As a title prefixed to a name, it dates from 1706. Short form prof is recorded from 1838.ETD professor (n.).2

    This sense is traced in OED to 1530s, but is perhaps a revival by the English Puritans of the use of the word from c. 1400 in the sense of "one who openly professes religious faith."ETD professor (n.).3

    professorial (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to a professor," 1713, from professor + -ial.ETD professorial (adj.).2

    professorship (n.)

    "state or office of a professor," 1640s, from professor + -ship.ETD professorship (n.).2

    proffer (v.)

    c. 1300, proffren, "present oneself, appear; hand over;" mid-14c., "to make an offer or proposal," from Anglo-French profrier (mid-13c.), Old French poroffrir (11c.), from por- "forth" (from Latin pro; see pro-) + offrir "to offer," from Latin offerre (see offer (v.)). Related: Proffered; proffering. As a noun, "an offer made, something proposed for acceptance by another," from late 14c.ETD proffer (v.).2

    proficient (adj.)

    "well-versed in any business, art, science, etc.," 1580s, a back-formation from proficiency or else from Old French proficient (15c.), from Latin proficientem (nominative proficiens), present participle of proficere "to make progress, go forward, effect, accomplish, be useful," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + combining form of facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Related: Proficiently.ETD proficient (adj.).2

    proficiency (n.)

    1540s, "advancement, progress" (a sense now obsolete), probably from abstract noun suffix -cy + Latin proficientem (nominative proficiens), present participle of proficere "accomplish, make progress; be useful, do good; have success, profit," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + combining form of facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). The main modern sense of "degree of advancement attained in some branch of knowledge, art, science, etc." is from 1630s.ETD proficiency (n.).2

    profile (n.)

    1650s, "a drawing of the outline of anything," especially "a representation of the human face in side view," from older Italian profilo "a drawing in outline," from profilare "to draw in outline," from pro "forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + filare "draw out, spin," from Late Latin filare "to spin, draw out a line," from filum "thread" (from PIE root *gwhi- "thread, tendon"). Meaning "a side view" is from 1660s. Meaning "biographical sketch, character study" is from 1734.ETD profile (n.).2

    profile (v.)

    1715, "to represent in profile, draw with a side view," from profile (n.) or Italian profilare. Meaning "to summarize a person in writing" is from 1948. Related: Profiled; profiling.ETD profile (v.).2

    profiling (n.)

    by 1852 as a term in field engineering, verbal noun from profile (v.). By 1888 as "the drawing of profiles." The racial/ethnic stereotyping sense is attested from c. 1991, American English, probably on the notion of "fitting (someone) to a profile."ETD profiling (n.).2

    profitable (adj.)

    c. 1300, "yielding spiritual or moral benefit, useful," from profit (v.) + -able or from Old French profitable, porfitable. From mid-14c. as "advantageous, expedient, helpful." Specific sense of "money-making" is attested from 1758. Related: Profitably; profitableness.ETD profitable (adj.).2

    profit (v.)

    early 14c., profilen (transitive), "to advance, benefit, gain," from profit (n.) and from Old French prufiter, porfiter "to benefit," from prufit. From mid-14c. as "be helpful or useful, do good." Intransitive sense of "gain in a material sense, derive profit or benefit" is from c. 1400. Related: Profited; profiting.ETD profit (v.).2

    profit (n.)

    mid-13c., "income derived from an office, property, transaction, etc.;" c. 1300, "benefit, spiritual benefit, advantage;" from Old French prufit, porfit "profit, gain" (mid-12c.), from Latin profectus "growth, advance, increase, success, progress," noun use of past participle of proficere "accomplish, make progress; be useful, do good; have success, profit," from pro "forward" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + combining form of facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). An Old English word "gain, profit" was gewinn.ETD profit (n.).2

    From mid-14c. as "use, usefulness." The specific sense of "the advantage or gain resulting to the owner of capita; from its employment in any undertaking, acquisition beyond expenditure" is from c. 1600. Profit margin "what remains when costs involved are deducted from profit" is attested from 1853. Profit-sharing is by 1881.ETD profit (n.).3

    profiteer (v.)

    "to make excessive gains, as by the sale of necessary goods at extortionate prices," 1797, but dormant in English until it was revived early 20c. and popularized in World War I, from profit + -eer. From 1912 as a noun. Related: Profiteering (1814).ETD profiteer (v.).2

    profitability (n.)

    mid-14c., profitabilite, "usefulness, use," from profitable + -ity or from Old French profitablete. Sense of "quality of being profitable, gainfulness" is by 1890.ETD profitability (n.).2

    profitless (adj.)

    "void of profit, gain, or advantage," 1590s, from profit (n.) + -less.ETD profitless (adj.).2

    profligate (adj.)

    1520s, "overthrown, routed, defeated, conquered" (now obsolete in this sense), from Latin profligatus "destroyed, ruined, corrupt, abandoned, dissolute," past participle of profligare "to cast down, defeat, ruin," from pro "down, forth" (see pro-) + fligere "to strike" (see afflict).ETD profligate (adj.).2

    The main modern meaning "recklessly extravagant" is attested by 1779, via the notion of "ruined in morals, abandoned to vice" (1640s, implied in a use of profligation, an obsolete word attested from mid-15c. but first in a sense of "elimination, banishment"). Related: Profligately. As a noun, "one who has lost all regard for good principles," from 1709.ETD profligate (adj.).3

    profligacy (n.)

    "shameless dissipation; the character or condition of being profligate," 1670s, from profligate + abstract noun suffix -cy.ETD profligacy (n.).2

    pro forma

    also proforma, Latin, literally "for form's sake, by way of formality;" from pro (prep.) "on behalf of" (see pro-) + formā, ablative of forma (see form (n.)). A pro forma invoice is one sent to the purchaser in advance of the ordered goods.ETD pro forma.2

    profoundness (n.)

    early 15c., profoundnesse, "inner part of the body;" mid-15c. as "the bottom of the sea;" late 15c. as "depth of meaning, mystery;" from profound + -ness.ETD profoundness (n.).2

    profound (adj.)

    c. 1300, "characterized by intellectual depth, very learned," from Old French profont, profund (12c., Modern French profond) and directly from Latin profundus "deep, bottomless, vast," also "obscure; profound; immoderate," from pro "forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + fundus "bottom" (see fund (n.)).ETD profound (adj.).2

    The literal and figurative senses both were in Latin, but English, having already deep, has employed this word primarily in its figurative sense; however in 15c. it was used of deep lakes or wounds. Sense of "deeply felt, intense" is from c. 1400. Related: Profoundly. A verb profound "to penetrate, reach inside, saturate, fill" is attested in English from 15c.-17c.ETD profound (adj.).3

    profundity (n.)

    early 15c., "bottom of the sea," from Old French profundite (Modern French profondité) and directly from Late Latin profunditatem (nominative profunditas) "depth, intensity, immensity," from profundus "deep, vast" (see profound). Meaning "depth of intellect, feeling, or spiritual mystery" in English is from c. 1500.ETD profundity (n.).2

    profuse (adj.)

    early 15c., "lavish, extravagant, liberal to excess," from Latin profusus "spread out, lavish, extravagant," literally "poured forth," past-participle adjective from profundere "pour forth," from pro "forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour"). Meaning "bountiful, abundant, copious" is from c. 1600. Related: Profusely; profuseness.ETD profuse (adj.).2

    profusion (n.)

    1540s, "extravagance, expenditure, prodigality, waste," from French profusion (16c.) and directly from Late Latin profusionem (nominative profusio) "a pouring out," noun of action from past-participle stem of profundere "to pour forth" (see profuse). Meaning "abundance, superfluity" is from 1705.ETD profusion (n.).2

    profusive (adj.)

    "characterized by or given to profusion," 1630s, from profuse + -ive. Related: Profusively; profusiveness.ETD profusive (adj.).2


    1958 as a colloquial shortening of progressive (q.v.). Earlier it was British student slang for proctor (1890) and earlier still a cant word for "food, provisions" (1650s), perhaps from verb prog "to poke about" (1610s), which is of unknown origin, perhaps related to prod (v.). Related: Progged; progging.ETD prog.2

    progeny (n.)

    early 14c., progenie, "children, offspring" (of humans or animals); late 14c., "descent, lineage, family, ancestry," from Old French progenie (13c.) and directly from Latin progenies "descendants, offspring, lineage, race, family," from stem of progignere "beget," from pro "forth" (see pro-) + gignere "to produce, beget" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget").ETD progeny (n.).2

    progenitor (n.)

    late 14c., progenitour, "an ancestor in the direct line," from Anglo-French progenitour (mid-14c.), Old French progeniteur (14c.) and directly from Latin progenitor "ancestor, the founder of a family," agent noun from progenitus, past participle of progignere "beget," from pro "forth" (see pro-) + gignere "to produce, beget" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget"). Related: Progenitive; progenital; progenitorial. Fem. form progenitrix is from c. 1600; progenitress from 1610s.ETD progenitor (n.).2

    progeria (n.)

    fatal genetic disease of children causing rapid aging, 1902, Modern Latin, from Greek progeros "prematurely old;" from pro "before, sooner" (see pro-) + geras "old man" (see geriatric) + abstract noun ending -ia.ETD progeria (n.).2

    progesterone (n.)

    female steroid sex hormone which prepares the uterus for child-bearing, 1935, from German Progesteron, from progestin (from which substance it was obtained), which had been coined 1930 from pro (see pro-) + Latin gestare, literally "to carry about" (see gestation), on notion of "substance which favors gestation." Also see -one.ETD progesterone (n.).2

    prognathous (adj.)

    "having protruding jaws," 1836, from pro- + gnatho- "jaw" + -ous. Prognathic (1845) means the same. Related: Prognathism.ETD prognathous (adj.).2

    prognosis (n.)

    1650s, "forecast of the probable course and termination of a case of a disease," from Late Latin prognosis, from Greek prognōsis "foreknowledge," also, in medicine, "predicted course of a disease," from stem of progignōskein "come to know beforehand," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + gignōskein "come to know" (from PIE root *gno- "to know").ETD prognosis (n.).2

    An earlier form in the same sense was pronostike (early 15c.), from Medieval Latin pronosticum. The general (non-medical) sense of "a forecast of the course of events" in English is from 1706. A back-formed verb prognose is attested from 1837; the earlier verb was Middle English pronostiken (c. 1400), from Medieval Latin pronosticare. Related: Prognosed; prognosing.ETD prognosis (n.).3

    prognostication (n.)

    "foretelling or foreshadowing of future events by present signs," especially "act of making a medical prognosis," late 14c., pronasticacioun, from Old French pronosticacion (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin *prognosticationem (nominative prognosticatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of prognosticare "foretell," from Latin prognostica "sign to forecast weather," from neuter plural of Greek prognōstikos "foreknowing," from progignōskein "come to know beforehand" (see prognosis). The -g- was restored in the English word 16c.ETD prognostication (n.).2

    prognostic (adj.)

    "indicating something in the future by signs or symptoms," mid-15c., pronostik, c. 1600, from Medieval Latin pronosticus, prognosticus, from Greek prognōstikos "foreknowing," from progignōskein "come to know beforehand" (see prognosis). The -g- in the English word was restored 16c. Related: Prognostical (early 15c., pronostical).ETD prognostic (adj.).2

    prognosticate (v.)

    "foretell by means of present signs," early 15c., prenosticaten, a back-formation from prognostication and also from Medieval Latin prognosticatus, past participle of prognosticare "foretell," from Latin prognostica "sign to forecast weather," from neuter plural of Greek prognōstikos "foreknowing," from progignōskein (see prognosis). Related: Prognosticated; prognosticating.ETD prognosticate (v.).2

    prognosticator (n.)

    "a foreknower or foreteller of future events by present signs, a soothsayer," 1550s, agent noun in Latin form from prognosticate.ETD prognosticator (n.).2

    program (v.)

    1889, "write program notes" (a sense now obsolete); 1896 as "arrange according to program," from program (n.).ETD program (v.).2

    Of computers, "cause to be automatically regulated in a prescribed way" from 1945; this was extended to animals by 1963 in the figurative sense of "to train to behave in a predetermined way;" of humans by 1966. Related: Programmed; programming.ETD program (v.).3

    program (n.)

    1630s, "public notice," from Late Latin programma "proclamation, edict," from Greek programma "a written public notice," from stem of prographein "to write publicly," from pro "forth" (see pro-) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy).ETD program (n.).2

    The meaning "written or printed list of pieces at a concert, playbill" is recorded by 1805 and retains the original sense. The sense of "broadcasting presentation" is from 1923.ETD program (n.).3

    The general sense of "a definite plan or scheme, method of operation or line of procedure prepared or announced beforehand" is recorded from 1837. The computer sense of "series of coded instructions which directs a computer in carrying out a specific task: is from 1945.ETD program (n.).4

    The sense of "objects or events suggested by music" is from 1854 (program music is attested by 1877). Spelling programme, established in Britain, is from French in modern use and began to be used early 19c., originally especially in the "playbill" sense.ETD program (n.).5

    programmer (n.)

    1890, "event planner," agent noun from program (v.). Meaning "person who programs computers" is attested from 1948.ETD programmer (n.).2


    see program.ETD programme.2

    programmable (adj.)

    "capable of being programmed," 1959, from program (v.) + -able.ETD programmable (adj.).2

    programmatic (adj.)

    "pertaining to or of the nature of a program," 1847, from program (n.), probably with awareness that it is from Greek programma (genitive programmatos), + -ic. Related: Programmatically.ETD programmatic (adj.).2

    progress (v.)

    1590s in the etymological sense of "move forward or onward in space;" c. 1600 in the figurative sense of "move toward something better, advance on the line of development or improvement;" from progress (n.).ETD progress (v.).2

    OED says the verb was obsolete in English 18c. but was reformed or retained in America and subsequently long regarded in Britain as an Americanism. Of work, etc., "continue onward in a course," by 1875. Related: Progressed; progressing.ETD progress (v.).3

    progressive (adj.)

    c. 1600, "characterized by advancement, going forward, moving onward" (in action, character, etc.), from progress (n.) + -ive, or else from French progressif, from past participle stem of Latin progredi. Specifically of taxation, from 1889. From the notion of "using one's efforts toward advancement or improvement" comes the meaning "characterized by striving for change and innovation, avant-garde, liberal" (in arts, etc.), from 1908; of jazz, from 1947.ETD progressive (adj.).2

    In the socio-political sense "favoring reform; radically liberal" it emerged in various British contexts from the 1880s; in the U.S. it was given to a movement active in the 1890s and a generation thereafter, the name being taken again from time to time, most recently by some more liberal Democrats and other social activists, by c. 2000.ETD progressive (adj.).3

    The noun in the sense "one who favors, promotes, or commends social and political change in the name of progress" is attested by 1865 (originally in Christianity). Earlier in a like sense were progressionist (1849, adjective; 1884, noun), progressist (1848). Related: Progressively; progressiveness.ETD progressive (adj.).4

    progress (n.)

    early 15., progresse, "a going on, action of walking forward," from Old French progres (Modern French progrès) and directly from Latin progressus "a going forward, an advance," noun of action from past-participle stem of progredi "go forward," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + gradi "to step, walk," from gradus "a step" (from PIE root *ghredh- "to walk, go").ETD progress (n.).2

    In early use in English especially "a state journey by royalty." Meaning Figurative sense of "growth, development, advancement to higher stages" is by c. 1600, perhaps 15c. (the senses are not easy to distinguish).ETD progress (n.).3

    To be in progress "underway" is attested by 1849 and preserves the older sense of "a course," whether good or bad (as in Hogarth's "Rake's Progress"); earlier it meant "in sequence" (as the volumes of a book), mid-15c. Progress report is attested by 1865.ETD progress (n.).4

    progression (n.)

    late 14c., progressioun, "action of moving from one condition to another," from Old French progression and directly from Latin progressionem (nominative progressio) "a going forward, advancement, growth, increase," noun of action from past-participle stem of progredi "go forward," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + gradi "to step, walk," from gradus "a step" (from PIE root *ghredh- "to walk, go"). The musical sense of "an advance from one note to another" or later one chord to another is by c. 1600. Related: Progressional.ETD progression (n.).2

    progressivism (n.)

    "principles of a progressive; advocacy or progress or reform," 1855, from progressive + -ism. From 1892 in the political sense.ETD progressivism (n.).2

    prohibition (n.)

    late 14c., prohibicioun, "act of prohibiting or forbidding, a forbidding by authority, an order forbidding certain actions," from Anglo-French and Old French prohibition, prohibicion (early 13c.), from Latin prohibitionem (nominative prohibitio) "a hindering, forbidding; legal prohibition," noun of action from past-participle stem of prohibere "hold back, restrain, hinder, prevent," from pro "away, forth" (see pro-) + habere "to hold" (from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive").ETD prohibition (n.).2

    The meaning "interdiction by law of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, except for medicinal or sacramental uses," is by 1851, American English. The national Prohibition party in the U.S. organized in 1869. The policy was in effect nationwide in U.S. as law 1920-1933 under the Volstead Act.ETD prohibition (n.).3

    Related: Prohibitionist; prohibitionism.ETD prohibition (n.).4

    prohibit (v.)

    "forbid, interdict by authority," early 15c., prohibiten, from Latin prohibitus, past participle of prohibere "hold back, restrain, hinder, prevent," from pro "away, forth" (see pro-) + habere "to hold" (from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive"). For form, compare inhibit, exhibit. Related: Prohibited; prohibiting.ETD prohibit (v.).2

    prohibitive (adj.)

    early 15c., prohibitif, "having the quality of prohibiting, serving to forbid," from Medieval Latin prohibitivus, from prohibit-, past-participle stem of Latin prohibere "hold back, restrain, hinder, prevent" (see prohibit). Of prices, rates, etc., "so high as to prevent use," it is from 1886. Related: Prohibitively. Alternative prohibitory (1590s) is from Latin prohibitorius.ETD prohibitive (adj.).2

    project (n.)

    c. 1400, projecte, "a plan, draft, scheme, design," from Medieval Latin proiectum "something thrown forth," noun use of neuter of Latin proiectus, past participle of proicere "stretch out, thrust out, throw forth," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + combining form of iacere (past participle iactus) "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel").ETD project (n.).2

    Meaning "scheme, proposal, mental plan" is from c. 1600. Meaning "group of government-subsidized low-rent apartment buildings" is recorded from 1935, American English, short for housing project (1932). Related: Projects. Project manager is attested from 1913.ETD project (n.).3

    project (v.)

    late 15c. (Caxton), "to plan, to scheme," from Late Latin projectare "to thrust forward," from Latin proiectus, past participle of proicere "stretch out, throw forth; hold in front; fling away; drive out," from pro- "forward" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + combining form of iacere (past participle iactus) "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel"). The notion is to "cast forward in the mind."ETD project (v.).2

    Meaning "to throw out or forward" physically is from 1590s. Intransitive sense of "to stick out, protrude beyond the adjacent parts, extend beyond something" is from 1718 (also an architectural sense in the Latin verb). Meaning "to cast an image on a screen" is recorded from 1865. Psychoanalytical sense, "attribute to another (unconsciously)" is from 1895 (implied in a use of projective), probably a figurative use from the meaning "throw the mind into the objective world" (1850). Meaning "convey to others by one's manner" is recorded by 1955. Related: Projected; projecting.ETD project (v.).3

    projection (n.)

    late 15c., projeccioun, in alchemy, "transmutation by casting a powder on molten metal," from Old French projeccion and directly from Latin proiectionem (nominative proiectio) "a throwing forward, a stretching out," noun of action from past-participle stem of proicere "stretch out, throw forth" (see project (v.)).ETD projection (n.).2

    From 1560s in the cartographical sense of "system of continuous correspondence between the points of a spherical surface and those of a plane." From 1590s as "action of projecting." From 1756 as "that which projects or juts out."ETD projection (n.).3

    projected (adj.)

    "planned, put forth as a project," 1706, past-participle adjective from project (v.). In Middle English and early Modern English the adjective was simply project.ETD projected (adj.).2

    projectile (adj.)

    1690s, "caused by impulse;" 1715, "impelling, throwing;" see project (v.) + -ile. By 1865 as "capable of being thrust forward." Projectile vomiting is attested from 1985.ETD projectile (adj.).2

    projectile (n.)

    "body projected or impelled forward by force," 1660s, from Modern Latin projectilis, from Latin proiectus, past participle of proicere "stretch out, throw forth," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + combining form of iacere (past participle iactus) "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel"). Specifically "a missile intended to be shot from a cannon by explosion of gunpowder, etc."ETD projectile (n.).2

    projectionist (n.)

    "one who operates a film projector," 1916, from projection + -ist.ETD projectionist (n.).2

    projector (n.)

    1590s, "one who forms a project or projects," agent noun in Latin form from project (v.). In the sense of "camera with a light source for throwing an image on a screen" it is attested from 1884.ETD projector (n.).2

    prokaryotic (adj.)

    "having no nuclear membrane in its cell" (as bacteria and blue-green algae), 1957, from prokaryote + -ic. Related: Prokaryon.ETD prokaryotic (adj.).2

    prokaryote (n.)

    "prokaryotic organism," 1963, from French procaryote (1925), from Greek pro "before" (see pro-) + karyon "nut, kernel" (see karyo-).ETD prokaryote (n.).2

    prolactin (n.)

    "hormone which promotes lactation," 1932, from pro- + stem of lactation + chemical suffix -in (2).ETD prolactin (n.).2

    prolapse (v.)

    "fall down or out," chiefly medical, 1736, from Latin prolapsus, past participle of prolabi "glide forward, slide along, slip forward or down;" see pro- "forward" + lapse (n.). As a noun, "a falling down of some part of the body," from 1808. Prolapsion in a theological sense, in reference to a falling into sin, is from c. 1600.ETD prolapse (v.).2

    proles (n.)

    "offspring," a dictionary word, 1670s, from Latin proles "offspring, progeny" (see prolific).ETD proles (n.).2

    prole (n.)

    short for proletarian (n.), 1887 (G.B. Shaw); popularized by George Orwell's 1949 novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four." As an adjective from 1938. Related: Proly (adj.); prolier-than-thou.ETD prole (n.).2

    prolegomenon (n.)

    1650s, "preliminary observation," especially "a learned preamble or introductory discourse prefixed to a book," from Greek prolegomenon, noun use of neuter passive present participle of prolegein "to say beforehand," from pro "before" (see pro-) + legein "to speak" (from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak (to 'pick out words')") + suffix -menos (as in alumnus). The same sense is in preface (n.). Related: Prolegomenary; prolegomenous. Plural prologomena.ETD prolegomenon (n.).2

    prolepsis (n.)

    1570s, "anticipation, the taking of something anticipated as already done or existing," also "the assignment of something to a too early date," from Latin prolepsis, from Greek prolēpsis "an anticipating," etymologically "a taking beforehand," from prolambanein "to take before, receive in advance," from pro "before" (see pro-) + lambanein "to take" (see lemma). A word used variously in philosophy and rhetoric. Related: Proleptic; proleptical; proleptically.ETD prolepsis (n.).2


    1650s (n.) "member of the lowest or poorest class of a community;" 1660s (adj.) "of or belonging to the lowest class of people," hence "mean, vile, vulgar;" with -ian + Latin proletarius "citizen of the lowest class" (as an adjective, "relating to offspring"), from proles "offspring, progeny" (see prolific). In ancient Rome, according to the traditional division of the state, the proletarius was one of the propertyless people, exempted from taxes and military service, who served the state only by having children. The modern political sense of proletarian is by 1851.ETD proletarian.2

    proletarianism (n.)

    1844, "the condition, or political aims and influence, of the lower classes of a community," from proletarian + -ism.ETD proletarianism (n.).2

    proletariat (n.)

    also proletariate, "the lowest and poorest class," 1853, from French prolétariat, from Latin proletarius (see proletarian). In political economics, "indigent wage-earners, , the class of wage-workers dependent on daily or casual employment" from 1856. The Englished form proletary was used 16c.-17c. in the older sense and revived in the modern sense by 1865. The Leninist phrase dictatorship of the proletariat is attested from 1918.ETD proletariat (n.).2

    prolicide (n.)

    "killing of one's child or children," 1824, introduced by Dr. John Gordon Smith in the 2nd edition of his "Principles of Forensic Medicine;" from Latin proles "offspring" (see prolific) + -cide "a killing."ETD prolicide (n.).2

    pro-life (adj.)

    "opposed to abortion," attested by 1976, from pro- + life. Used earlier in a more general sense of "enhancing life." Hostile alternative anti-choice is attested by 1978 in Ms. magazine (compare pro-choice).ETD pro-life (adj.).2

    prolific (adj.)

    1640s, "producing young or fruit;" 1650s, "producing offspring or fruit in abundance;" from French prolifique (16c.), from Medieval Latin prolificus, from Latin proles "offspring" + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Latin proles is contracted from *pro-oles, from PIE *pro-al-, from *pro- "forth" (see pro-) + root *al- (2) "to grow, nourish." Related: Prolifical (c. 1600).ETD prolific (adj.).2

    Gower (1393) has prolificacioun, from Medieval Latin prolificationem; prolificacy (1796) and prolificness (1690s) also have been tried.ETD prolific (adj.).3

    proliferative (adj.)

    "reproductive, budding or sprouting into new similar forms," 1868, from proliferate + -ive.ETD proliferative (adj.).2

    proliferation (n.)

    1859, "formation or development of cells by budding or division," from French prolifération, from prolifère "producing offspring," from Latin proles "offspring" (see prolific) + ferre "to bear, carry" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children"). The meaning "enlargement, extension, increase in number" is from 1920; especially of nuclear weapons by 1960 in the jargon of the U.S. State Department.ETD proliferation (n.).2

    proliferate (v.)

    1857 as a term in biology, "reproduce, grow by multiplication of elementary parts;" see proliferation. General sense, of things, etc., "increase greatly in numbers," by 1961. Related: Proliferated; proliferating.ETD proliferate (v.).2

    prolix (adj.)

    early 15c., of writing, etc., "lengthy, protracted, long and wordy," from Old French prolixe (13c.) and directly from Latin prolixus "extended, stretched out" (of hair, tails, etc., in Late Latin of speech), etymologically "poured out," from pro "forth" (see pro-) + base of liquere "to flow" (see liquid (adj.)).ETD prolix (adj.).2

    Of persons, "long-winded, prone to indulge in lengthy discourse," 1520s.ETD prolix (adj.).3

    prolixity (n.)

    late 14c., prolixite, of a narrative, book, etc., "lengthiness," from Old French prolixité "verbosity" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin prolixitatem (nominative prolixitas), from Latin prolixus "extended, stretched out" (see prolix).ETD prolixity (n.).2

    prolly (adv.)

    representing a colloquial shortened pronunciation of probably, by 1922.ETD prolly (adv.).2

    prologue (n.)

    early 14c., prologe, "introduction to a narrative or discourse," from Old French prologue (12c.) and directly from Latin prologus, from Greek prologos "preface to a play, speaker of a prologue," etymologically "a speech beforehand," from pro "before" (see pro-) + logos "discourse, speech," from legein "to speak," from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak (to 'pick out words')." Especially a discourse or poem spoken before a dramatic performance or play. Figuratively, "a preliminary act or event," by 1590s.ETD prologue (n.).2

    prolong (v.)

    early 15c., prolongen, "lengthen in time, extend the duration of; delay, postpone," back-formation from prolongation or else from Old French prolonguer, porloignier (13c.) and directly from Late Latin prolongare "to prolong, extend," from Latin pro "forth" (see pro-) + longus "long" (adj.); see long (adj.). The same elements also form purloin. Related: Prolonged; prolonging; prolongable.ETD prolong (v.).2

    prolongation (n.)

    late 14c., prolongacioun, "condition of being extended;" early 15c. as "protraction, lengthening in time;" from Old French prolongacion (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin prolongationem (nominative prolongatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Late Latin prolongare "to prolong, extend," from Latin pro "forth" (see pro-) + longus "long" (adj.); see long (adj.).ETD prolongation (n.).2

    prom (n.)

    "student formal dance in celebration of graduation," 1894, American English shortened form of promenade (n.). Prom dress attested from 1975.ETD prom (n.).2

    promachos (n.)

    "a champion, one who fights on behalf of another," by 1905, from Latinized form of Greek promakhos "a deity (especially Athene or Apollo) who fights before some person, army, or state as a protector or guardian," from pro "before" (see pro-) + makhesthai "to fight" (see -machy). The word is attested from 1871 in reference to the colossal bronze statue of Athene Promachos that stood in the Athenian citadel.ETD promachos (n.).2

    promenade (v.)

    "to make a promenade; walk about for amusement, display, or exercise," 1580s, from promenade (n.). Related: Promenaded; promenading.ETD promenade (v.).2

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