One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Designating or relating to a period before settlement (especially of the British Isles) by speakers of English.
2Of or relating to the use of a given word before its adoption into English. rare.
3Designating or relating to the period before the emergence of the English language; of or relating to the West Germanic or Anglo-Frisian dialect from which English developed.
The West Germanic or Anglo-Frisian dialect from which English developed; (also occasionally) English before written records. Also more generally: any language which may be regarded as a forerunner of (modern) English.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. From pre- + English.
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