- 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 for preliminary 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
- 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.