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front matter

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noun Printing.
  1. all material in a book that precedes the text proper, as the title page, copyright page, table of contents, dedication, and preface.
Compare back matter.

Origin of front matter

An Americanism dating back to 1905–10
Also called preliminaries.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for front matter

front matter

noun
  1. another name for prelims (def. 1)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012