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

Other Words from preliminary

Adjective

preliminarily \ pri-​ˌli-​mə-​ˈner-​ə-​lē How to pronounce preliminary (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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Essaibi George won four of every five votes cast in this precinct during the preliminary, her strongest showing anywhere in the city — and the best showing of any candidate in any precinct in the city. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Oct. 2021 Wu won the preliminary in September by 11 points — a huge margin in a five-person race — and nothing has happened since to substantially move the needle. BostonGlobe.com, 20 Oct. 2021 Tuesday’s mayoral preliminary will bring us some answers. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Sep. 2021 City Councilor Liz Breadon, the first openly gay woman to serve on the council, backed Wu before the preliminary, citing her big-picture vision for the city on matters ranging from housing to climate change. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Oct. 2021 But her vote tally in the preliminary was concentrated in the more affluent Orient Heights neighborhood where Walsh built his base. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Oct. 2021 Wednesday will see the first of three debates between the two finalists, and Essaibi George will likely go hard at Wu — who drew next to no fire in the preliminary — for making impossible promises. BostonGlobe.com, 10 Oct. 2021 In 2013, the first open race in 20 years, only 113,319 people voted in the preliminary. BostonGlobe.com, 14 Sep. 2021 In 2017, when Walsh ran for re-election, only 56,400 people voted in the preliminary. BostonGlobe.com, 12 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The plaintiffs asked the court to suspend collection activities by issuing a preliminary injunction. Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press, 17 May 2022 The state is barred, for now, from enforcing part of the law after a federal judge for the Middle District of Alabama granted a preliminary injunction in a case challenging the law’s constitutionality. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, 16 May 2022 Internet lobbying groups NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association filed a lawsuit against the measure, and U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction in December. Reuters, NBC News, 14 May 2022 At least another 97 listees among that group of 539 mainlander members are now below the $1 billion threshold, based on preliminary estimates using Tuesday’s global stock prices. Russell Flannery, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed the injunction to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and a panel of three judges issued a ruling Wednesday that stayed the preliminary injunction. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 12 May 2022 Lorenz, in a 2020 order, declined to issue a preliminary injunction against either law. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 May 2022 In 2021, that number had climbed nearly sevenfold, to at least 2,268, according to preliminary estimates. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2022 As of late March, roughly 3 million people had lost their jobs, and preliminary estimates suggested that the economy may have already lost approximately $565 billion, Marchenko added, noting the massive destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure. Michelle Toh, CNN, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for preliminary

Time Traveler

The first known use of preliminary was in 1656

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Dictionary Entries Near preliminary

prelim

preliminary

prelimit

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Statistics for preliminary

Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Preliminary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/preliminary. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for preliminary

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

More from Merriam-Webster on preliminary

Nglish: Translation of preliminary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preliminary for Arabic Speakers

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