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preface

[pref-is] /ˈprɛf ɪs/
noun
1.
a preliminary statement in a book by the book's author or editor, setting forth its purpose and scope, expressing acknowledgment of assistance from others, etc.
2.
an introductory part, as of a speech.
3.
something preliminary or introductory:
The meeting was the preface to an alliance.
4.
Ecclesiastical. a prayer of thanksgiving, the introduction to the canon of the Mass, ending with the Sanctus.
verb (used with object), prefaced, prefacing.
5.
to provide with or introduce by a preface.
6.
to serve as a preface to.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French < Medieval Latin prēfātia, for Latin praefātiō a saying beforehand, equivalent to praefāt(us) (past participle of praefārī to say beforehand; see pre-, fate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
prefacer, noun
unprefaced, adjective
Synonyms
1. See introduction. 2, 3. preamble, prologue, prolegomena.
Antonyms
1. appendix. 2, 3. epilogue.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pre-face

preface

/ˈprɛfɪs/
noun
1.
a statement written as an introduction to a literary or other work, typically explaining its scope, intention, method, etc; foreword
2.
anything introductory
3.
(RC Church) a prayer of thanksgiving and exhortation serving as an introduction to the canon of the Mass
verb (transitive)
4.
to furnish with a preface
5.
to serve as a preface to
Derived Forms
prefacer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin praefātia, from Latin praefātiō a saying beforehand, from praefārī to utter in advance, from prae before + fārī to say
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pre-face
preface
late 14c., from O.Fr. preface (14c.), from M.L. prefatia, from L. præfatio "fore-speaking, introduction, prologue," from præfatus, pp. of præfari "to say beforehand," from præ- "before" + fari "speak" (see fame). The verb is 1616, from the noun.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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