- preceding and leading up to the main part, matter, or business; introductory; preparatory: preliminary examinations.
- something preliminary, as an introductory or preparatory step, measure, contest, etc.: He passed the preliminary and went on to the finals.
- a boxing match or other athletic contest that takes place before the main event on the program: A preliminary was fought at 8:00.
- a preliminary examination, as of a candidate for an academic degree.
- preliminaries, Printing. front matter.
Origin of preliminary
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- all material in a book that precedes the text proper, as the title page, copyright page, table of contents, dedication, and preface.
Origin of front matter
Examples from the Web for preliminaries
She opened it and without any preliminaries handed it and the cheque to the banker.Her Father's Daughter
The preliminaries of the negotiation were adjusted at this interview.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
You can appear before the public and attend to all preliminaries.A Woman Intervenes
These preliminaries over, Dimples sets herself to pay for her seat.Lotus Buds
After the preliminaries of investigation were gone through, the witnesses were called.The Shadow of a Crime
- the full word for prelims
- another name for prelims (def. 1)
- (usually prenominal) occurring before or in preparation; introductory
- a preliminary event or occurrence
- an eliminating contest held before the main competition
Word Origin and History for preliminaries
1660s, from French préliminaire and directly from Medieval Latin praeliminaris, from Latin prae- "before" (see pre-) + limen (genitive liminis) "threshold" (see limit (n.)). A word that arose in reference to negotiations to end the Thirty Years' War. Earliest attested form in English is preliminaries (n.), 1650s.