The Collaborative International Dictionary
Ad- \Ad-\ [A Latin preposition, signifying to. See At.] As a prefix ad- assumes the forms ac-, af-, ag-, al-, an-, ap-, ar-, as-, at-, assimilating the d with the first letter of the word to which ad- is prefixed. It remains unchanged before vowels, and before d, h, j, m, v. Examples: adduce, adhere, adjacent, admit, advent, accord, affect, aggregate, allude, annex, appear, etc. It becomes ac- before qu, as in acquiesce.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
word-forming element expressing direction toward or in addition to, from Latin ad "to, toward" in space or time; "with regard to, in relation to," as a prefix, sometimes merely emphatic, from PIE *ad- "to, near, at" (cognate with Old English æt; see at). Simplified to a- before sc-, sp- and st-; modified to ac- before many consonants and then re-spelled af-, ag-, al-, etc., in conformity with the following consonant (as in affection, aggression). In Old French, reduced to a- in all cases (an evolution already underway in Merovingian Latin), but written forms in French were refashioned after Latin in 14c. and English did likewise 15c. in words it had picked up from Old French. In many cases pronunciation followed the shift.
pre. 1 near, at. 2 toward, to, tendency, or addition.