American Dictionary of the English Language

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PRELIM'INARY, adjective [Latin proe, before, and limen, threshhold or limit.]

Introductory; previous; proemial; that precedes the main discourse or business; as preliminary observations to a discourse or book; preliminary articles to a treaty; preliminary measures.

PRELIM'INARY, noun That which precedes the main discourse, work, design or business; something previous or preparatory; as the preliminaries to a negotiation or treaty; the preliminaries to a combat. The parties met to settle the preliminaries.