preamble

[pree-am-buhl, pree-am-]
noun
1.
an introductory statement; preface; introduction. opening, beginning; foreword, prologue, prelude. epilogue, appendix, conclusion, afterword, closing.
2.
the introductory part of a statute, deed, or the like, stating the reasons and intent of what follows.
3.
a preliminary or introductory fact or circumstance: His childhood in the slums was a preamble to a life of crime.
4.
(initial capital letter) the introductory statement of the U.S. constitution, setting forth the general principles of American government and beginning with the words, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union. …”

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin praeambulum, noun use of neuter of Late Latin praeambulus walking before. See pre-, amble

preambled, adjective
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World English Dictionary
preamble (priːˈæmbəl)
 
n
1.  a preliminary or introductory statement, esp attached to a statute or constitution setting forth its purpose
2.  a preliminary or introductory conference, event, fact, etc
 
[C14: from Old French préambule, from Late Latin praeambulum walking before, from Latin prae- before + ambulāre to walk]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

preamble
late 14c., from O.Fr. preambule (13c.), from M.L. preambulum, neut. adj. used as a noun, properly "preliminary," from L.L. præambulus "walking before," from L. præ- "before" + ambulare "to walk" (see amble).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Somehow we just skipped over the preamble to the civil rights protests and
  forgot about all that led to them.
Existence becomes merely a preamble to a more vital goal.
Going to this doctor felt just like getting my car fixed, only less preamble.
Including the preamble, all signatures and all 27 amendments, it's 20 pages.
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