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 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 The girls 200 free relay finished 19th with a time of 1:43.80 and the boys 200 medley relay received a DQ in preliminaries. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Swimming: Ellison wins pair of medals at state," 22 Feb. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Benalla was subsequently fired after the May Day beating and has been handed preliminary charges for violence. Elaine Ganley, The Seattle Times, "Macron’s presidency hurt by ex-aide flaunting gun in photo," 25 Sep. 2018 Benalla was subsequently fired after the May Day beating and has been handed preliminary charges for violence. Elaine Ganley, Fox News, "Macron's presidency hurt by ex-aide flaunting gun in photo," 25 Sep. 2018 The government is already under court order to stop separating families as part of a preliminary injunction by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Trump administration says detained parents must decide whether to keep families intact," 10 July 2018 According to the preliminary injunction from U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego, children younger than 5 were to be reunified within 14 days, which puts the deadline at early next week. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "Rep: 12-year-old blind girl among immigrant kids taken to Michigan," 5 July 2018 Instead, the judge issued a nationwide, preliminary injunction that requires the Department of Homeland Security to abide by its own 2009 directive that requires individualized reviews of each case. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "Judge rules that Trump administration has been wrongly detaining asylum seekers," 2 July 2018 As part of the case, preliminary charges were leveled last year at eight former Lafarge executives, including former chief executive Eric Olsen, the French judicial official said. Josh Jacobs, WSJ, "France Files Preliminary Charges Against LafargeHolcim," 28 June 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

2 Dec 2018

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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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