preamble

noun
pre·​am·​ble | \ ˈprē-ˌam-bəl How to pronounce preamble (audio) , 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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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 The preamble to Game 5 provided the Stars reason to think their second-round series against Colorado would end on Monday night. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Stars unable to overcome ‘atrocious’ start in Game 5 loss vs. Avalanche," 31 Aug. 2020 At the beginning of the NYPD’s video presenting footage from the incident, a police spokesman gave a preamble. Eric Umansky, ProPublica, "The NYPD Is Withholding Evidence From Investigations Into Police Abuse," 17 Aug. 2020 During an online panel discussion Tuesday, Gimbel said the preamble to the directives, which explained the commission's reasons for issuing them, contains information that's untrue. Gina Barton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Police Department says directives FPC gave Chief Morales are unclear, full of errors and may be illegal," 5 Aug. 2020 His pamphlet-length Trump primer, The Fourth Way, contained three epigraphs and four appendixes, including the preamble to the Constitution and the Homestead Act of 1862. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Hugh Hewitt Has Always Been a Hack," 4 Aug. 2020 After a 300-word preamble on the U.S. trade deficit with China, King was to introduce a guest, Russian journalist Anastasia Dolgova. Jeff Kao, ProPublica, "The Disinfomercial: How Larry King Got Duped Into Starring in Chinese Propaganda," 30 July 2020 If that prediction comes true, then what befell the Northeast could look like mere preamble. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Week America Lost Control of the Pandemic," 3 July 2020 So the preamble to our exhibit on CIA's role in Operation Enduring Freedom, of course, starts with the attacks on our country on 9/11. CBS News, "Former CIA museum curator highlights the agency's most important artifacts - transcript," 17 June 2020 The Constitution declares in its preamble that one of its primary purposes was to establish Justice. CNN, "READ: President Trump's executive order on police reform," 16 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for preamble

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for preamble

Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preamble.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/preamble. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for preamble

preamble

noun
How to pronounce preamble (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of preamble

somewhat formal
: 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 How to pronounce preamble (audio) \

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- How to pronounce preamble (audio) \

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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