Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

preface

play
noun pref·ace \ˈpre-fəs\

Simple Definition of preface

  • : an introduction to a book or speech

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of preface

  1. 1 often capitalized :  a variable doxology beginning with the Sursum Corda and ending with the Sanctus in traditional eucharistic liturgies

  2. 2 :  the introductory remarks of a speaker or author

  3. 3 :  approach, preliminary

Examples of preface in a sentence

  1. The book's preface was written by the author.

  2. <a noted critic has written a short preface to her story to explain some of the historical background>



Origin and Etymology of preface

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin prephatia, alteration of Latin praefation-, praefatio foreword, from praefari to say beforehand, from prae- pre- + fari to say — more at ban


First Known Use: 14th century


2

preface

verb pref·ace

Simple Definition of preface

  • : to introduce (a piece of writing, a speech, a remark, etc.) by writing or saying something

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of preface

prefaced

prefacing

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to make introductory remarks

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 :  to say or write as preface <a note prefaced to the manuscript>

  5. 2 :  precede, herald

  6. 3 :  to introduce by or begin with a preface

  7. 4 :  to stand in front of <a porch prefaces the entrance>

  8. 5 :  to be a preliminary to

prefacer

noun

1619

First Known Use of preface

1619


PREFACE Defined for Kids

preface

play
noun pref·ace \ˈpre-fəs\

Definition of preface for Students

  1. :  a section at the beginning that introduces a book or a speech





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up preface? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to destroy or remove completely

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

brumal hiemal vernal estival
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ