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 Even when the case in D.C. resumes, there are likely to be a series of pretrial battles in addition to the immunity questions that consume a significant amount of time. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports,, 4 July 2024 Numerous human rights organizations have said Zamora’s trial proceedings were riddled with failures — including violations of due process, misuse of pretrial detention and obstruction of his right to legal defense. Nicole Acevedo, NBC News, 2 July 2024 The trial at stake still has months of pretrial preparation pending, with more delays possible, even if the justices don't throw out the charges. Bart Jansen, The Courier-Journal, 1 July 2024 The pretrial proceedings in the case have been frozen since appeals courts began reviewing the question of immunity, and Monday’s Supreme Court decision could give Chutkan a green light to press ahead toward trial. Perry Stein, Washington Post, 30 June 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 12 Jul. 2024.

Legal Definition


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