front matter


Definition of front matter

: matter preceding the main text of a book

Examples of front matter in a Sentence

The conventions of the book are explained in the front matter.
Recent Examples on the Web Paging through this front matter feels like waiting for a haunted carnival ride to start, only to be wrong-footed. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "Carmen Maria Machado’s Many Haunted Stories of a Toxic Relationship," 31 Oct. 2019 Some of Richard McGuire’s sequences are taxonomies: bird cages, hats, ice, or the collection of wire shapes that decorates the front matter of this book. The New York Review of Books, "Luc Sante," 13 Oct. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'front matter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of front matter

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of front matter was circa 1909

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Cite this Entry

“Front matter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for front matter

front matter


English Language Learners Definition of front matter

: the pages at the beginning of a book before the main part

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