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[pref-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈprɛf əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
of, relating to, or of the nature of a preface:
prefatory explanations.
Often, prefatorial.
Origin of prefatory
1665-75; < Latin praefāt(iō) preface + -ory1
Related forms
prefatorily, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for prefatory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In this prefatory note I confine myself to the career of the younger sister.

    Les Parsis D. Menant
  • With these prefatory remarks, I will give the legend as recorded by Giraldus.

    Welsh Folk-Lore Elias Owen
  • Moleto's prefatory letter to Vita dell' Ammiraglio, April 25, 1571.

  • She was wanting to correct the proofs of the book and rewrite the prefatory memoir.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • I did it in a prefatory note to a book of mine called Tom Sawyer.

    Essays on Paul Bourget Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Sordid dialogue, prefatory to the thin story of the plot, began.

    The Angel Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • At this prefatory remark Yudushka would grow green with rage.

    A Family of Noblemen Mikhal Saltykov
  • With this war I design to conclude my prefatory sketch and my second book.

British Dictionary definitions for prefatory


/ˈprɛfətərɪ; -trɪ/
of, involving, or serving as a preface; introductory
Derived Forms
prefatorily, prefatorially, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin praefārī to say in advance; see preface
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
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Word Origin and History for prefatory

1670s, from Latin praefat-, past participle stem of praefari (see preface (n.)) + -ory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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