• Deliberate; intentional.

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Example Sentences

“The bird seemed to swoop down at my cat with a prepense hostility.”

“My grandson had a prepense plan to distract me while his brother grabbed the cookies.”

“The prosecution sought to show that the defendant committed the crime with malice prepense.”

Word Origin

Middle English, mid-17th century

Why this word?

“Prepense” is based on the Anglo-Norman French term “prépensé,” meaning “thought of in advance.” A dated usage of this adjective is as a synonym for “intentional,” but it still has a place in legal vocabulary. The expression “malice prepense” refers to the accusation that a defendant has acted with calculated ill intentions, which is very different from committing a crime in the spur of the moment without reflecting upon its outcomes ahead of time. Determining whether a crime was committed by prepense or spontaneously is an important part of legal proceedings. The weight of the crime, and the ensuing judgment, is usually more severe when carried out under malice prepense, rather than if it occurred impulsively.

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