I. pre ‧ lim ‧ i ‧ na ‧ ry 1 AC /prɪˈlɪmən ə ri, prɪˈlɪmɪn ə ri $ -neri/ BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]
[ Date: 1600-1700 ; Language: French ; Origin: préliminaire , from Medieval Latin praeliminaris , from Latin limen 'threshold' ]
happening before something that is more important, often in order to prepare for it:
the preliminary stages of the competition
a preliminary draft
The discussions were preliminary to preparing a policy paper.
II. preliminary 2 AC BrE AmE noun ( plural preliminaries ) [countable usually plural]
1 . something that is said or done first, to introduce or prepare for something else
Pilot studies are a useful preliminary to large research projects.
After the usual preliminaries, the chairman made his announcement.
2 . one of the games in the first part of a competition, when it is decided who will go on to the main competition:
Four teams will be eliminated in the preliminaries.