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5 definitions found
 for preliminary
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Preliminary \Pre*lim"i*na*ry\, a. [Pref. pre + L. liminaris
     belonging to a threshold, fr. limen, liminis, threshold,
     entrance: cf. F. pr['e]liminaire. Cf. Limit.]
     Introductory; previous; preceding the main discourse or
     business; prefatory; as, preliminary observations to a
     discourse or book; preliminary articles to a treaty;
     preliminary measures; preliminary examinations.
     [1913 Webster]
     Syn: Introductory; preparatory; prefatory; proemial;
          previous; prior; precedent; antecedent.
          [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Preliminary \Pre*lim"i*na*ry\, n.; pl. Preliminaries.
     That which precedes the main discourse, work, design, or
     business; something introductory or preparatory; as, the
     preliminaries to a negotiation or duel; to take one's
     preliminaries the year before entering college.
     [1913 Webster]
     Syn: Introduction; preface; prelude.
          [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      adj 1: denoting an action or event preceding or in preparation
             for something more important; designed to orient or
             acquaint with a situation before proceeding; "a
             preliminary investigation"
      n 1: a minor match preceding the main event [syn: preliminary,
      2: something that serves as a preceding event or introduces what
         follows; "training is a necessary preliminary to employment";
         "drinks were the overture to dinner" [syn: preliminary,
         overture, prelude]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  117 Moby Thesaurus words for "preliminary":
     advance, advanced, antecedent, anterior, arrangement, avant-garde,
     avant-propos, basic training, beginning, breakthrough, briefing,
     chief, clearing the decks, coming out, curtain raiser, debut,
     embarkation, embarkment, equipment, exordial, exordium,
     exploratory, familiarization, first, first appearance, fixing,
     floating, flotation, foremost, forerunning, foreword, foundation,
     front matter, frontispiece, groundwork, headmost, inaugural,
     inaugural address, inauguration, induction, initial, initiation,
     initiatory, innovation, installation, installment, introduction,
     introductory, launching, leading, leap, maiden speech, makeready,
     making ready, manufacture, mobilization, opener, opening, original,
     overture, planning, postulate, preamble, prearrangement,
     precedence, precedent, preceding, precessional, precursory,
     preface, prefatory, prefix, prefixed, prefixture, preliminaries,
     preliminary act, preliminary step, prelude, preludial, prelusive,
     premise, premonitory, prep, preparation, preparatory,
     preparatory study, preparing, prepositive, prepping, prerequisite,
     presupposition, pretreatment, prevenient, prior, processing,
     prodromal, prodrome, prodromic, proem, proemial, prolegomena,
     prolegomenon, prolepsis, prologue, propaedeutic, protasis,
     provision, readying, spadework, training, treatment, trial, tryout,
     unveiling, verse, voluntary, warm-up

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  PRELIMINARY. Something which precedes, as preliminaries of peace, which are 
  the first sketch of a treaty, and contain the principal articles on which 
  both parties are desirous of concluding, and which are to serve as the basis 
  of the treaty. 

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