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 (ĭg-zôr′dē-əm, ĭk-sôr′-)
n. pl. ex·or·di·ums or ex·or·di·a (-dē-ə)
A beginning or introductory part, especially of a speech or treatise.

[Latin, from exōrdīrī, to begin : ex-, intensive pref.; see ex- + ōrdīrī, to begin; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]

ex·or′di·al adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
High-scoring words included: kernite (a mineral) 100 points; coniines (poisonous alkaloid) 98; shrieval (relating to a sheriff) 97; exordial (beginning) 92.
Within the narrative they appear in the prayers and oaths(16) of characters, outside it they surface in narratorial prayers for audience, narrator or even fictional character; their use in introductory and exordial prayers unites all three within a Christian frame of reference.
They appear in prose in the exordial prayers of sermons, the petition for deliverance to heaven often collocating with the tag 'To the wiche he brynge vs that on the Rode bowghth vs';(21) 'To that mercye he vs brynge that for mankeend shed is blode on the Rode tre';(22) 'this crowne of lift graunte vs Crist, that died for us on the Rode Tree'.