One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A decree pronounced beforehand.
with object To decree beforehand, to foreordain.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803–1873), writer and politician. From pre- + decree<br>early 17th century; earliest use found in Alexander Craig (?1567–1627), poet. From pre- + decree. With later use compare predecree.
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