One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
That signifies or intimates in advance; that forewarns.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Abraham Fleming (c1552–1607), author, literary editor, and Church of England clergyman. From classical Latin praesignificant-, praesignificāns, present participle of praesignificāre. In some later uses perhaps partly also from pre- + significant.
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