Dictionary

1preliminary

noun pre·lim·i·nary \pri-ˈli-mə-ˌner-ē\

: something that comes first in order to prepare for or introduce the main part of something else

: a game that is played before the main part of a competition to decide which players or teams will be allowed to continue playing

plural pre·lim·i·nar·ies

Full Definition of PRELIMINARY

:  something that precedes or is introductory or preparatory: as
a :  a preliminary scholastic examination
b plural British :  front matter
c :  a preliminary heat or trial (as of a race)
d :  a minor match preceding the main event (as of a boxing card)

Examples of PRELIMINARY

  1. <a meeting to discuss seating arrangements that was merely a preliminary to the formal negotiating sessions>

Origin of PRELIMINARY

French préliminaires, plural, from Medieval Latin praeliminaris, adjective, preliminary, from Latin prae- pre- + limin-, limen threshold
First Known Use: 1656

Related to PRELIMINARY

2preliminary

adjective

: coming before the main part of something

Full Definition of PRELIMINARY

:  coming before and usually forming a necessary prelude to something else <preliminary studies> <preliminary results>
pre·lim·i·nar·i·ly \-ˌli-mə-ˈner-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of PRELIMINARY

  1. Preliminary findings show that the drug could help patients with skin cancer.
  2. The team was eliminated in the preliminary round of the tournament.
  3. research that is preliminary to the study

First Known Use of PRELIMINARY

circa 1667

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