pre·​scind | \ pri-ˈsind How to pronounce prescind (audio) \
prescinded; prescinding; prescinds

Definition of prescind

intransitive verb

: to withdraw one's attention

transitive verb

: to detach for purposes of thought

Did You Know?

Prescind derives from the Latin verb praescindere, which means "to cut off in front." "Praescindere," in turn, was formed by combining "prae-" ("before") and "scindere" ("to cut" or "to split"). So it should come as no surprise that when "prescind" began being used during the 17th century, it referred to "cutting off" one's attention from a subject. An earlier (now archaic) sense was even clearer about the etymological origins of the word, with the meaning "to cut short, off, or away" or "to sever." Other descendants of "scindere" include "rescind" and the rare "scissile" ("capable of being cut").

First Known Use of prescind

1654, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for prescind

Latin praescindere to cut off in front, from prae- + scindere to cut — more at shed entry 1

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Cite this Entry

“Prescind.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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