Meaning of PRELIMINARY in English

I. prə̇ˈliməˌnerē, prēˈ-, -ri noun

( -es )

Etymology: French préliminaires, plural, from Medieval Latin praeliminaris, adjective

: something that precedes a main discourse, work, design, or business : something introductory or preparatory (as a preparatory step or measure): as

a. : a preliminary scholastic examination (as of a candidate for a higher degree)

b. : a contest designed to eliminate the less qualified competitors (as in a sport) prior to a decisive contest

c. preliminaries plural , Britain : front matter

d. : a minor match or contest that precedes the main event (as of a boxing card)

II. adjective

Etymology: French préliminaire, from Medieval Latin praeliminaris, from Latin prae- pre- + limin-, limen threshold + -aris -ar — more at limb

1. : preceding the main discourse or business : introductory , previous

preliminary articles to a treaty

2. : lying before : leading to : being at the threshold of

hills that are preliminary to the mountains — John Burroughs

III. adverb

: as a preliminary

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.