preliminary

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

Having never surpassed the divisional preliminaries in his career, Magula competed in his first state meet. Andrew Turner, latimes.com, "Local duo capped deep CIF track and field run with medal-winning performances," 8 June 2018 The infected toe did not respond well to the preliminaries. Roy Bragg, San Antonio Express-News, "UIW’s Newman lost toe, wins matches," 20 Mar. 2018 The third and final preliminaries will be held Friday. Fox News, "Miss America contestant advances after response to NFL protest," 7 Sep. 2018 This year's preliminaries began amid a revolt by some state-level pageant officials, who were unhappy with how the decision to end the swimsuit competition came about. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Miss America swimsuit competition 'behind us,' contestants say at prelims," 6 Sep. 2018 Fenwick finds state-final form in 2A Fenwick freshman Maria Quinn anticipated nerves would be a problem in Friday’s Class 2A 4x800 relay preliminaries. Bob Narang, chicagotribune.com, "Girls track notes: Lyons relay teams place at state," 21 May 2018 Huntington Beach senior Grant Brehm was outtouched by Los Alamitos' Jacob Toland in the 50 free, despite lowering his meet-record time from preliminaries to a 20.35, but Brehm came back to win the 100 free in 45.39. Matt Szabo, latimes.com, "Locals swim fast, but Los Alamitos sweeps Sunset League finals," 5 May 2018 Let’s dispense with preliminaries: In so many ways, live dance and music don’t get better than Alonzo King’s world premiere collaboration with tabla master Zakir Hussain, continuing through Sunday, April 15, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Rachel Howard, San Francisco Chronicle, "Hussain on hand for Lines Ballet’s glorious 35th birthday," 8 Apr. 2018 Swimming preliminaries are set for 5 p.m. Central time Friday. Johnny Gorches, Post-Tribune, "The Wright stuff: Hobart freshman aims high at state after sectional sweep," 9 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

By then, the state had spent $325 million on preliminary engineering, outreach, environmental studies and land acquisition while sorting through options over the past eight years. Michelle Baruchman, The Seattle Times, "A look back at the Alaskan Way Viaduct as its demise — and the new Highway 99 tunnel — draw near," 7 Jan. 2019 Lawmakers made preliminary moves to cut America’s ties to the three-year conflict, with the Senate passing a historic resolution to cut military aid to Saudi Arabia related to the war in Yemen. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Saudi Arabia is reportedly outsourcing its war in Yemen to child soldiers," 30 Dec. 2018 The final reading exceeded the forecast of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal, who had expected an index of 97.0 for December, down from a preliminary figure of 97.5. Harriet Torry, WSJ, "U.S. Consumer Sentiment Rises in December," 21 Dec. 2018 After her voice impressed judges at a preliminary audition, she was sent to the 3,000-person audience audition at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow, Scotland. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Untold Story of 'AGT' Star Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" Audition," 19 Dec. 2018 Unfortunately, little is known about the scale of the problem since research is in its preliminary stages. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "You Can't Just "Clean Up" the Plastic in the Ocean. Here's Why.," 18 Dec. 2018 While the evidence remains largely preliminary, these individual cases have reached a critical mass, which indicates something is happening that needs to be explored in a more rigorous way. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 That was a big reason for the court’s preliminary injunction. German Lopez, Vox, "Needle exchanges help combat the opioid crisis. But officials keep shutting them down.," 29 Nov. 2018 But on February 27, a preliminary injunction was issued to block the completion of an extension of the BBP because the Army Corps of Engineers had not met all the environmental assessment requirements. Mary Lovell, Teen Vogue, "Bayou Bridge Pipeline Meets Resistance from the L’eau Est La Vie Camp," 16 Oct. 2018

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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Last Updated

14 Jan 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 \
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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