preamble

noun
pre·​am·​ble | \ˈprē-ˌam-bəl, prē-ˈam-\

Definition of preamble 

1 : an introductory statement especially : the introductory part of a constitution or statute that usually states the reasons for and intent of the law

2 : an introductory fact or circumstance especially : one indicating what is to follow

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Synonyms & Antonyms for preamble

Synonyms

exordium, foreword, intro, introduction, preface, prelude, proem, prologue (also prolog), prolusion

Antonyms

epilogue (also epilog)

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Examples of preamble in a Sentence

The preamble to the U.S. Constitution begins by saying “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, …”. His early travels were just a preamble to his later adventures.

Recent Examples on the Web

Unfortunately her claim was preamble to a typically vague, noncommittal GM answer to an admirably precise question. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Detroit vs. Protectionism?," 4 Sep. 2018 Non-contentious provisions, including the preamble, would be tackled first before the touchy issues, including whether the pact should be legally binding and its geographic scope, to prevent the talks from stalling early, another diplomat said. Jim Gomez And Annabelle Liang, Fox News, "Asia diplomats press N. Korea to deliver on anti-nuke vows," 4 Aug. 2018 Cho Oyu was only a preamble for the two weeks ahead. Nick Heil, Outside Online, "Are Kilian Jornet's Speed Records Too Good to Be True?," 12 July 2018 Trump began his proclamation with a two-sentence preamble. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "Following criticism, President Trump orders flags to half-staff for Capital Gazette shooting victims," 3 July 2018 Everything's fixed, and re-fixed, and fixed again in the preamble to the race. Maya Singer, Vogue, "A Weekend Under the Tuscan Sun with Rosetta Getty at the Palio Horse Race," 3 July 2018 In turn, the exhibit is a preamble to the September publication of Talamon’s forthcoming book from Taschen Publishing,Bruce W. Talamon: Soul, R&B, and Funk Photographs 1972-1982. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Grammy Museum Spotlights Photographer Bruce Talamon in New Soul, R&B and Funk Exhibit," 29 June 2018 In her remarks Justice Ginsburg detailed the evolving history of representation and inclusion, from the preamble to the Constitution to the abolition of slavery to the amendments that allowed women and blacks to vote. Liz Robbins, New York Times, "Justice Ginsburg Urges New Citizens to Make America Better," 10 Apr. 2018 At present the party’s role is mentioned only in the preamble. The Economist, "Ruler for lifeChina’s leader, Xi Jinping, will be allowed to reign forever," 26 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of preamble

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for preamble

Middle English, from Middle French preambule, from Medieval Latin preambulum, from Late Latin, neuter of praeambulus walking in front of, from Latin prae- + ambulare to walk

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Statistics for preamble

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preamble

The first known use of preamble was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for preamble

preamble

noun

English Language Learners Definition of preamble

: a statement that is made at the beginning of something (such as a legal document) and usually gives the reasons for the parts that follow

: something that comes before and leads to something else

preamble

noun
pre·​am·​ble | \ˈprē-ˌam-bəl \

Kids Definition of preamble

: an introduction (as to a law) that often gives the reasons for what follows

preamble

noun
pre·​am·​ble | \ˈprē-ˌam-bəl, prē-ˈam- \

Legal Definition of preamble 

: an introductory statement (as to a contract) especially : the introductory part of a constitution or statute that usually states the reasons for and intent of the law

Note: While preambles do not state law and therefore are not judicially enforceable, they are used to determine legislative intent when interpreting statutes.

History and Etymology for preamble

Middle French preambule, from Medieval Latin preambulum, from Late Latin, neuter of preambulus walking in front of, from Latin prae- + ambulare to walk

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