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prolegomenon

[proh-li-gom-uh-non, -nuh n] /ˌproʊ lɪˈgɒm əˌnɒn, -nən/
noun, plural prolegomena
[proh-li-gom-uh-nuh] /ˌproʊ lɪˈgɒm ə nə/ (Show IPA)
1.
a preliminary discussion; introductory essay, as prefatory matter in a book; a prologue.
2.
Usually, prolegomena. (sometimes used with a singular verb) a treatise serving as a preface or introduction to a book.
Origin
1645-1655
1645-55; < Neo-Latin < Greek prolegómenon, neuter of passive present participle of prolégein to say beforehand, equivalent to pro- pro-2 + légein to say (akin to lógos logos)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for prolegomena
  • The issues of whether prolegomena are modernist explanatory devices and whether postmodern prolegomena are possible are discussed.
  • As prolegomena, four areas of corollary research are easily identified.
British Dictionary definitions for prolegomena

prolegomenon

/ˌprəʊlɛˈɡɒmɪnən/
noun (pl) -na (-nə)
1.
(often pl) a preliminary discussion, esp a formal critical introduction to a lengthy text
Derived Forms
prolegomenal, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Greek, from prolegein, from pro-² + legein to say
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 prolegomena

prolegomenon

n.

1650s, "learned preamble to a book," from Greek prolegomenon, noun use of neuter passive present participle of prolegein "to say beforehand," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + legein "to speak" (see lecture (n.)) + suffix -menos (as in alumnus). The same sense is in preface (n.). Related: Prolegomenary; prolegomenous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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