One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
usually postpositive Deliberate; intentional.‘malice prepense’
deliberate, calculated, conscious, done on purpose, intended, planned, meant, considered, studied, knowing, wilful, wanton, purposeful, purposive, purposed, premeditated, pre-planned, thought out in advance, prearranged, preconceived, predeterminedView synonyms
- ‘Webster's defines aforethought adequately, with a reference to the relevant legal term: ‘Premeditated; prepense; previously in mind; designed; as, malice aforethought, which is required to constitute murder.’’
Early 18th century: alteration of prepensed, past participle of obsolete prepense, from Old French purpenser, from por- ‘beforehand’ + penser ‘think’. The prefix pre- was substituted to emphasize the notion of ‘beforehand’.
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