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c.1300, "despite, contempt," from Old French prejudice "prejudice, damage" (13c.), from Medieval Latin prejudicium "injustice," from Latin praeiudicium "prior judgment," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + iudicium "judgment," from iudex (genitive iudicis) "a judge" (see judge (v.)). Meaning "injury, physical harm" is mid-14c., as is legal sense "detriment or damage caused by the violation of a legal right." Meaning "preconceived opinion" (especially but not necessarily unfavorable) is from late 14c. in English.
mid-15c., "to injure or be detrimental to," from prejudice (n.). The meaning "to affect or fill with prejudice" is from c.1600. Related: Prejudiced; prejudicing.
A hostile opinion about some person or class of persons. Prejudice is socially learned and is usually grounded in misconception, misunderstanding, and inflexible generalizations. In particular, African-Americans have been victims of prejudice on a variety of social, economic, and political levels. (See civil rights movement and segregation.)