pref·​a·​to·​ry | \ ˈpre-fə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce prefatory (audio) \

Definition of prefatory

1 : of, relating to, or constituting a preface prefatory remarks
2 : located in front

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of prefatory in a Sentence

The speaker made some prefatory remarks. Each chapter in the book has a prefatory quotation.
Recent Examples on the Web The chronicle that results, as Mitenbuler explains in a prefatory note, also appears at a moment when, for the first time in the history of the form, everything is available. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Mixed-Up Masters of Early Animation," 21 Dec. 2020 Ferry provides some heartfelt prefatory remarks on meter and the aims of the translation, but there is no formal introduction about the poem’s historical setting or literary tradition, no glossary or list of names. Denis Feeney, New York Times, "David Ferry Won the National Book Award in His 80s. In His 90s, He Has Translated Virgil.," 5 Dec. 2017

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

First Known Use of prefatory

1675, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prefatory

Latin praefari

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prefatory

Time Traveler for prefatory

Time Traveler

The first known use of prefatory was in 1675

See more words from the same year

Statistics for prefatory

Cite this Entry

“Prefatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for prefatory



English Language Learners Definition of prefatory

formal : included at the beginning of a book, speech, etc., as an introduction

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on prefatory

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!