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preliminary

[pri-lim-uh-ner-ee] /prɪˈlɪm əˌnɛr i/
adjective
1.
preceding and leading up to the main part, matter, or business; introductory; preparatory:
preliminary examinations.
noun, plural preliminaries.
2.
something preliminary, as an introductory or preparatory step, measure, contest, etc.:
He passed the preliminary and went on to the finals.
3.
a boxing match or other athletic contest that takes place before the main event on the program:
A preliminary was fought at 8:00.
4.
a preliminary examination, as of a candidate for an academic degree.
5.
preliminaries, Printing. front matter.
Origin
1650-1660
1650-60; < French prélimin(aire) and Neo-Latin praelīmin(āris) (see pre-, liminal) + -ary
Related forms
preliminarily, adverb
Synonyms
1. prefatory. Preliminary, introductory both refer to that which comes before the principal subject of consideration. That which is preliminary is in the nature of preparation or of clearing away details which would encumber the main subject or problem; it often deals with arrangements and the like, which have to do only incidentally with the principal subject: preliminary negotiations. That which is introductory leads with natural, logical, or close connection directly into the main subject of consideration: introductory steps.
Antonyms
1. concluding.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for preliminaries
  • Some would-be duelists discovered that even the code's formal preliminaries might set in motion an irreversible chain of events.
  • But there are no soothing preliminaries this afternoon.
  • When the star touches the moon's jagged edge, it winks out all at once with no preliminaries.
British Dictionary definitions for preliminaries

preliminaries

/prɪˈlɪmɪnərɪz/
plural noun
1.
the full word for prelims

preliminary

/prɪˈlɪmɪnərɪ/
adjective
1.
(usually prenominal) occurring before or in preparation; introductory
noun (pl) -naries
2.
a preliminary event or occurrence
3.
an eliminating contest held before the main competition
Derived Forms
preliminarily, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin praelīmināris, from Latin prae before + līmen threshold
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 preliminaries

preliminary

adj.

1660s, from French préliminaire and directly from Medieval Latin praeliminaris, from Latin prae- "before" (see pre-) + limen (genitive liminis) "threshold" (see limit (n.)). A word that arose in reference to negotiations to end the Thirty Years' War. Earliest attested form in English is preliminaries (n.), 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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