prolegomenon

[proh-li-gom-uh-non, -nuhn]
noun, plural prolegomena [proh-li-gom-uh-nuh] .
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:
1645–55; < 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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prolegomenon (ˌprəʊlɛˈɡɒmɪnən)
 
n , pl -na
(often plural) a preliminary discussion, esp a formal critical introduction to a lengthy text
 
[C17: from Greek, from prolegein, from pro-² + legein to say]
 
prole'gomenal
 
adj

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

prolegomenon
1652, "learned preamble to a book," from Gk. prolegomenon, neuter passive prp. of prolegein "to say beforehand," from pro- "before" + legein "to speak" (see lecture) + suffix -menos (as in alumnus). The same sense is in preface.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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