- 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 on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for preliminary
I testified merely eight feet from this monster at a preliminary hearing.I Was Gang Raped at a UVA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything
December 16, 2014
Preliminary results performed by Italian authorities “have not detected any manufacturing defect,” she added.Did This Flu Vaccine Kill 13?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 2, 2014
These preliminary results give us hope that the project will succeed in the coming years.The Secret to Tracking Ebola, MERS, and Flu? Sewers
November 29, 2014
He also is the editor of the journal, which seems to publish a lot of interesting if preliminary work.All These AIDS ‘Cures’ Are a Fantasy—One That Can Cause Real Harm
November 6, 2014
Data from 107 galaxies out of the preliminary sample is freely available to the astronomical community for study.SAMI Is Like Google Earth for the Universe
Matthew R. Francis
July 27, 2014
The time expended in these preliminary lessons will be well spent.Flying Machines
W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
To return from this preliminary digression to the examinations.
As a preliminary to acquiring it is he to be shut out from the society of his fellows?Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle
H. N. Brailsford
The first of these preliminary processes is that which is done by the sliver-lapper.The Fabric of Civilization
The same end may be attained without any preliminary process.The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales
Arthur Conan Doyle
- (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 preliminary
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.