One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Place (an element or word) in front of another.
- ‘I conclude that there are some people who allow preposing of more than, but not many of them, and I suspect that these are people who are conscientiously avoiding the horror of split infinitives, according to a ‘rule’ they learned in school.’
- ‘Many combining forms are designed to take initial or final position: autobiography has the two initial or preposed forms auto, bio, and one postposed form graphy.’
Late 15th century (in the sense ‘place in authority’): from French préposer, suggested by Latin praeponere ‘put before’.
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