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 Amoah’s time of 10.01 seconds in the 100 preliminaries June 5 eclipsed his previous school record of 10.09 and is tied for the 15th-fastest mark in the world this year. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Coppin State's Joseph Amoah emerges as world-class sprinter, eyes representing Ghana at 2020 Olympics," 5 July 2019 So much for those preliminaries — the real season starts now. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "AL.com All-Access: The real season starts now, is Auburn ready?," 17 Sep. 2019 In the past, Friday has been for the preliminaries: the Gemuetlicheit Games and dachshund races. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "Everything you need to know about Oktoberfest Zinzinnati," 16 Sep. 2019 Ledecky returned to competition in the 4x200 free relay final, her first racing since preliminaries on Monday. Beth Harris, baltimoresun.com, "Katie Ledecky returns but U.S. falls to Australia in relay at world swimming championships," 25 July 2019 Titmus stunned Ledecky to win the 400 free on the first night before the American got sick and withdrew from the 200 free preliminaries and 1,500 final. Beth Harris, Twin Cities, "Lakeville’s Regan Smith wins gold at world swimming championships," 27 July 2019 Ledecky hadn’t competed since preliminaries Monday. Beth Harris, SFChronicle.com, "Katie Ledecky returns but US falls to Australia in relay at swimming worlds," 25 July 2019 Allison Schmitt of Pitchfork Aquatics and former Arizona sprinter Margo Geer earned silver by swimming for the U.S. in the relay preliminaries. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Ledecky upset at World Swimming Championships with Leah Smith of Tucson third in 400 free," 21 July 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The council unanimously gave preliminary approval Aug. 19 with no discussion. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "Disputed Ellis Avenue residential-commercial project to return to Huntington Beach council," 30 Aug. 2019 In fact, the site settled a dispute in the preliminary rounds of this year’s contest. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, "Many try, but few finish, the world’s toughest baseball quiz," 17 Sep. 2019 Purdue is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop those cases. Jan Hoffman, New York Times, "Would a Purdue Bankruptcy Protect the Sacklers? Good Question.," 16 Sep. 2019 The Columbia River Steamship Operators’ Association also wants a judge to halt the transit tax through a preliminary injunction. oregonlive, "Owners of oceangoing commercial ships sue Port of Astoria, arguing that $300 transit fee is unconstitutional," 14 Sep. 2019 Thursday’s lawsuit, brought by attorneys Scott Kendall and Jahna Lindemuth of Holmes, Weddle and Barcott, requests a preliminary injunction allowing signature gathering to begin no later than Sept. 16. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Supporters of election-reform ballot measure appeal rejection to courts," 10 Sep. 2019 By The Numbers 3-0 Team USA’s record in the preliminary round of the FIBA World Cup after defeating Japan 98-45 on Thursday. Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, "What happened to former Broncos quarterbacks after the NFL preseason," 6 Sep. 2019 Counting preliminary injunctions, California has won in court 19 times, said Sarah Lovenheim, a spokeswoman for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Tom Krisher, Fortune, "Trump Will Challenge California’s State’s Rights to Set Its Own Mileage Standard," 5 Sep. 2019 In May, Conley issued a preliminary injunction temporarily barring Anheuser-Busch from using the words corn syrup in ads without providing more context. Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "MillerCoors wins another battle in 'corn syrup' war with Anheuser-Busch," 4 Sep. 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

21 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for preliminary

The first known use of preliminary was in 1656

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More Definitions for preliminary

preliminary

noun
How to pronounce preliminary (audio)

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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