pre·​tri·​al ˌprē-ˈtrī(-ə)l How to pronounce pretrial (audio)
variants or pre-trial
: occurring or existing before a trial
a pretrial hearing

Examples of pretrial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That's one of the reasons most cases end in pretrial agreements in which defendants enter guilty pleas. Graham Kates, CBS News, 5 June 2024 Separately, investigators also exhumed two other bodies in the village and announced the results of pretrial investigations into their deaths. Oleksandr Chubko Mauricio Lima, New York Times, 10 May 2024 The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump's classified documents case has now indefinitely postponed the trial date pending resolution of outstanding pretrial litigation, including disagreements about how the classified information is used during trial. Katherine Faulders, ABC News, 7 May 2024 The trial, moved from Modesto to Redwood City because of overwhelming pretrial publicity, pitted well-heeled L.A. defense lawyer Mark Geragos against Stanislaus County prosecutors, two of whom remain on the case. Julia Prodis Sulek, The Mercury News, 26 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for pretrial 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pretrial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1894, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pretrial was in 1894

Dictionary Entries Near pretrial

Cite this Entry

“Pretrial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Legal Definition


: existing or occurring before trial
a pretrial motion
a pretrial detainee
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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