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

The Arizona preliminary was created in 1986 and pools together 10 drag performers to impress judges in five rounds that include interview, on-stage evening gown presentation and talent. Garrett Mitchell, azcentral, "Miss Gay Arizona pageant lauds the best drag performers," 11 June 2018 The Patriots’ relay team of Jahleel Perrin, Shane Johnson, Ahmad Dinkins and David Smolensky advanced to Saturday’s finals after posting a time of 1 minute, 28.55 seconds in Friday’s preliminaries. Bob Narang, chicagotribune.com, "Boys track notes: Stevenson sees a bright future for 4x200 relay team," 27 May 2018 Athletes must survive a series of four cuts — league finals, CIF preliminaries, CIF finals and CIF Masters — to achieve their ultimate goal of reaching the CIF State championship meet. Andrew Turner, latimes.com, "Locals perform in the clutch at Sunset League track and field finals," 5 May 2018 Medals Of Honor Three ex-military veterans of the U.S. Army were honored during the race preliminaries as part of a 10-year tradition at the event. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Patriotism gets big boost at Daytona," 8 July 2018 Acts from that pool will be selected for the local preliminary, happening at 2 p.m. at the Conrad Ballroom, Conrad N. Hilton College at the University of Houston. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Houston is looking for the next K-pop star," 12 June 2018 Gillespie didn't get through the 200 preliminaries, which leaves him with just one race on which to concentrate on Friday. Tim Brown, OregonLive.com, "MLB draft: Parker Kelly of Oregon Ducks selected by St. Louis Cardinals, could join his brother Carson in big leagues," 6 June 2018 Chen's lone individual triumph took place in the 100-yard backstroke, where his winning time of 55.54 seconds was also an automatic qualifier for the CIF Southern Section Division III preliminaries. Andrew J. Campa, latimes.com, "Flintridge Prep swimming splits league meet with Poly," 11 Apr. 2018 Both have reached the mark this season, Wiseman at the Beach Cities Invitational and the Division 1 preliminaries, and Garnett at a Sunset League tri-meet against Newport Harbor and Los Alamitos. Matt Szabo, latimes.com, "7 local track and field athletes headed to CIF Southern Section Masters meet," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Teams will play three preliminary games before being seeded in a tournament that concludes with the championship on July 17. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "First glimpse of Mavericks' rookie Luka Doncic comes soon in Las Vegas," 29 June 2018 The outcome is already in doubt: Orban and his allies in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, all of which refuse to accept any refugees at all, boycotted a preliminary meeting on migration on June 24. Alan Crawford, Bloomberg.com, "As Merkel’s Power Drains, the Threat to Europe Grows," 27 June 2018 City officials want to demolish and replace the nearly 70-year-old market building, but the projects remains in the preliminary design phase. Brittany Britto, baltimoresun.com, "Lexington Market reopens after rat incident as customers seek pastry favorites," 14 July 2018 The preliminary agreement for McDonald’s Plaza, which is contingent on Hines receiving zoning approval, comes about a month after McDonald’s relocated its headquarters to Chicago’s Fulton Market district. Ryan Ori, chicagotribune.com, "McDonald's Plaza in Oak Brook to be demolished, redeveloped under buyer's plan," 13 July 2018 Accompanying the exhibit are two large-scale paintings from the museum’s collection, as well as preliminary sketches that reveal his working process. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 Overall, Gartner said, preliminary data showed world-wide PC shipments totaled 62.1 million units in the second quarter, up 1.4% from the year earlier. Maria Armental, WSJ, "PC Shipments Have Strongest Quarter in Six Years," 12 July 2018 Boeing announced a preliminary agreement last week to form a $4.75 billion venture with Embraer that will control the Brazilian manufacturer’s commercial airplane and services business. Christopher Jasper, The Seattle Times, "JetBlue places big order for newest Airbus A220 jet," 10 July 2018 Under a preliminary deal, Boeing will own 80 percent of a partnership controlling Embraer’s commercial airplane and services businesses while the Brazilian manufacturer holds 20 percent, the companies said in a statement Thursday. Fortune, "Boeing and Embraer Are Forming a $4.75 Billion Commercial Jet Venture," 5 July 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

7 Oct 2018

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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