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preamble

[pree-am-buh l, pree-am-] /ˈpriˌæm bəl, priˈæm-/
noun
1.
an introductory statement; preface; introduction.
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
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin praeambulum, noun use of neuter of Late Latin praeambulus walking before. See pre-, amble
Related forms
preambled, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for preambles

preamble

/priːˈæmbəl/
noun
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
Word Origin
C14: from Old French préambule, from Late Latin praeambulum walking before, from Latin prae- before + ambulāre to walk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for preambles

preamble

n.

late 14c., from Old French preambule (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin preambulum, neuter adjective used as a noun, properly "preliminary," from Late Latin praeambulus "walking before," from Latin prae- "before" (see pre-) + ambulare "to walk" (see amble (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
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