Premeditation is when you plan something ahead of time. A car thief's premeditation might include following a driver and noting where he typically parks his Mercedes.

You're most likely to see the noun premeditation when someone's talking about crime. Almost any kind of crime or wrongdoing is considered worse, especially in a courtroom, if there's premeditation involved. An assault that's spontaneous isn't punished as harshly as one that involves premeditation, in which the attacker plans the assault before carrying it out. The Latin root, praemeditationem, combines prae, "before," and meditari, "to consider."

Definitions of premeditation

n planning or plotting in advance of acting

Type of:
planning, preparation, provision
the cognitive process of thinking about what you will do in the event of something happening

n (law) thought and intention to commit a crime well in advance of the crime; goes to show criminal intent

Type of:
malice aforethought, mens rea
(law) criminal intent; the thoughts and intentions behind a wrongful act (including knowledge that the act is illegal); often at issue in murder trials

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