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Prior to or preparing for the main matter, action, or business; introductory or prefatory.
n. pl. pre·lim·i·nar·ies
often preliminaries Something that precedes another item of a similar kind, especially:
a. A contest to determine the finalists in a competition.
b. An event that precedes the main event, especially in boxing or wrestling.
c. An academic examination taken before a longer, more complex, or more important examination.
d. An introductory remark made before a speech, presentation, or meeting.

[From New Latin praelīmināris : Latin prae-, pre- + Latin līmen, līmin-, threshold.]

pre·lim′i·nar′i·ly (-nâr′ə-lē) adv.
Synonyms: preliminary, introductory, prefatory, preparatory
These adjectives mean going before and preparing the way for something else: a preliminary investigation; introductory remarks; an author's prefatory notes; preparatory steps.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


pl n
(Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) the full word for prelims
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


[prɪlɪmɪnrɪz] nplpreliminari mpl
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
In settling the preliminaries of the arbitration they had, however, the misfortune to disagree, and appealed to arms.
When dogs fight, there are usually preliminaries to the actual combat--snarlings and bristlings and stiff-legged struttings.
Without further preliminaries than a friendly nod, he addressed me: "You have got her pretty well in her fore and aft trim.
At length the preliminaries were all happily adjusted.
'When it is wanted: we must get the house, and settle on preliminaries first.'
When all preliminaries were over and Peleg had got everything ready for signing, he turned to me and said, I guess Quohog there don't know how to write, does he?
Kim Hee-ro, 23, was chosen as first runner-up in the regional preliminaries for Seoul, while Kim Hee-ran, 21, was selected in the contest in China.
All members are reminded the Rosebowl competition preliminaries follow the second Sixteen on October 19.
Badminton: 11:30am-2pm -- Men's singles, doubles: preliminaries, women's singles, doubles: preliminaries, mixed doubles: preliminaries