Word of The Day for Saturday, March 5, 2011


pre•ven•ient (pri-VEEN-yuhnt)  adj

1. coming before; preceding
2. expectant; anticipatory
prevenance noun;  preveniently adverb

1650s, from L. praevenientem, prp. of praevenire, from prae- from PIE *prai- + venire “to come” from PIE base *gwa- "to go, come"

Synonyms: antecedent, anterior, before, erstwhile, foregoing, former heretofore, introductory, precedent, precursive, precursory, preexistent, prefatory, preliminary, preparatory, previous, prior, prodromal, supra
Related Words: prevent; from venire “to come” venue, intervene, avenue, provenance, parvenu, invention, advent, adventure, revenue, et al

Sentence Examples:
• Christian theology teaches the doctrine of prevenient grace, which briefly stated means this, that before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man. -The Pursuit of God, by A. W. Tozer

• It is not one that can be undertaken without a sense of inadequate knowledge, and still more inadequate power of expression; but such a challenge cannot be refused, provided that whoever accepts it believes that he has some things to say which ought to be said, some lines of thought which ought to be indicated, something to urge, the truth of which he is thoroughly convinced of. Without such conviction prevenient, "we doubt not" that books on serious subjects, even if clever, and public speech either from platform or pulpit, "do verily have the nature of sin," and the more eloquent they are the worse the offence; with it, the very incompleteness and imperfection in the mode of presentation may even stimulate others to more thought, and to make up deficiencies all the better for themselves. -Rebuilding Britain, by Alfred Hopkinson

• E'en as the bird, who midst the leafy bower
Has, in her nest, sat darkling through the night,
With her sweet brood, impatient to descry
Their wished looks, and to bring home their food,
In the fond quest unconscious of her toil:
She, of the time prevenient, on the spray,
That overhangs their couch, with wakeful gaze
Expects the sun; nor ever, till the dawn,
Removeth from the east her eager ken;
So stood the dame erect, and bent her glance
Wistfully on that region, where the sun
Abateth most his speed; that, seeing her
Suspense and wand'ring, I became as one,
In whom desire is waken'd, and the hope
Of somewhat new to come fills with delight.
-Paradise, Dante Alighieri; The Rev HF Cary, Trans

Sources: Free Dictionary, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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