preliminary

noun
pre·​lim·​i·​nary | \ pri-ˈli-mə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce preliminary (audio) \
plural preliminaries

Definition of preliminary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that precedes or is introductory or preparatory: such as
a : a preliminary scholastic examination
b preliminaries 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)

preliminary

adjective

Definition of preliminary (Entry 2 of 2)

: coming before and usually forming a necessary prelude to something else preliminary studies preliminary results

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Other Words from preliminary

Adjective

preliminarily \ pri-​ˌli-​mə-​ˈner-​ə-​lē How to pronounce preliminarily (audio) \ adverb

Examples of preliminary in a Sentence

Noun

a meeting to discuss seating arrangements that was merely a preliminary to the formal negotiating sessions

Adjective

Preliminary findings show that the drug could help patients with skin cancer. The team was eliminated in the preliminary round of the tournament. research that is preliminary to the study
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ariana Ince, seventh after the three-round preliminaries, won by unleashing a throw of 200 feet, 4 inches on her fifth overall attempt. oregonlive.com, "Lopez Lomong wins a record-breaking 10k as local athletes shine on Day 1 of USATF Championships," 25 July 2019 As a junior, Miramar sprinter Taylor Banks finished first in the 100-meter dash preliminaries. Adam Lichtenstein, sun-sentinel.com, "Broward 4A-3A boys track and field athlete of the year: Taylor Banks, Miramar senior," 19 June 2019 Williams also ran the 100 in Greensboro, finishing 14th in the preliminaries in a time of 12.00 and failing to advance to the eight-girl finals. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska teens set state bests in track and swimming," 21 June 2019 During the State Open preliminaries in the 55-meter dash, Soule finished eighth while Miller and Yearwood finished first and second, respectively. Lori Riley, courant.com, "Complaint over Connecticut high school athletics transgender policy has merit, former federal prosecutor says," 21 June 2019 All of which underscores the unpredictability of live competition, because on Saturday, in the preliminaries, Zhu was eliminated. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Sweaty fingers, nerves and 6 a.m. Chopin: Behind the scenes at the Cliburn Junior in Dallas," 5 June 2019 On Friday in the preliminaries, Bright delivered a sizzling time of 10.65. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'It was glorious' as Oak Creek boys take second, program reels in three state track and field titles," 2 June 2018 Richardson finished seventh in the 100 meters (11.27) after posting the fastest time in the qualifying preliminaries (11.04). Craig Clary, baltimoresun.com, "A look back at Western Tech, Catonsville and Lansdowne's outdoor track postseasons," 4 June 2019 If the Ducks’ 4x400 gets through Thursday’s preliminaries instead of unfortunately being disqualified after a problematic baton exchange, Oregon probably would be bringing NCAA hardware home to Eugene. oregonlive.com, "All in all, a good season for the UO women; big names in action tonight at L&C: Oregon track & field rundown," 9 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Sara Smith was arraigned on her charges Wednesday and is scheduled to appear again Friday for a preliminary hearing in Warren District Court. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Police: Kentucky mom charged with child abuse after duct taping son's hands and eyes," 8 Aug. 2019 But according to Vice, those are only intended to be active for short periods, either for testing or immediately after an election, when voting machines transmit preliminary vote totals to central tallying systems. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Swing State Voting Systems Were Left Connected to the Internet for Months, Report Says," 8 Aug. 2019 The sites are still preliminary and depend on whether developers send the city applications for high-quality projects, Hardman said. Hayat Norimine, Dallas News, "'Incompetent or intentional': Dallas council member slams staffers over proposed housing sites," 7 Aug. 2019 Spranger's preliminary exam lasted just over two minutes, with half that time spent talking about her tardiness. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Ex-Macomb Clerk Karen Spranger is late to court, judge threatens to jail her," 6 Aug. 2019 The new project is dubbed The Summit Radisson, according to preliminary documents provided by the developer and architect, BKV Group. Laura Kinsler, orlandosentinel.com, "Downtown Orlando could get five more new skyscrapers," 5 Aug. 2019 Though Vinicius Junior is an extremely exciting prospect, as is new signing Luka Jovic, both of them are still in the preliminary stages of their careers. SI.com, "Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid or Barcelona: Assessing Each of the La Liga Title Favourites," 3 Aug. 2019 The official also stresses that the death count is preliminary and that the investigation is still ongoing. Bloomberg.com, "Groups March for Tougher Gun Laws After Texas Mass Shooting," 3 Aug. 2019 He is scheduled for a preliminary court hearing on Wednesday afternoon. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Reality TV Bailiff Allegedly Killed Wife During Argument About Steroid Use Claims," 31 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preliminary.' 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 preliminary

Noun

1656, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1657, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for preliminary

Noun

French préliminaires, plural, from Medieval Latin praeliminaris, adjective, preliminary, from Latin prae- pre- + limin-, limen threshold

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Statistics for preliminary

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preliminary

The first known use of preliminary was in 1656

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More Definitions for preliminary

preliminary

noun

English Language Learners Definition of preliminary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

preliminary

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of preliminary (Entry 2 of 2)

: coming before the main part of something

preliminary

noun
pre·​lim·​i·​nary | \ pri-ˈli-mə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce preliminary (audio) \
plural preliminaries

Kids Definition of preliminary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that comes before the main or final part The athletes competed in the preliminaries.

preliminary

adjective

Kids Definition of preliminary (Entry 2 of 2)

: coming before the main or full part I won the preliminary round. The preliminary results are promising.

preliminary

adjective
pre·​lim·​i·​nary | \ pri-ˈli-mə-ˌner-ē\

Legal Definition of preliminary

: coming before and usually serving as a temporary or intermediate step to something preliminary negotiations a preliminary payment plan

Other Words from preliminary

preliminarily adverb
preliminary noun

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Comments on preliminary

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