One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1That precedes the final stage or form.
2Linguistics. Occupying a position (usually immediately) before the final element of a word or other linguistic (especially phonological or morphological) unit; specifically preceding a main final consonant in a word-final cluster.
Linguistics. A pre-final element.
1920s; earliest use found in The Times. From pre- + final.
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