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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.


pl n
(Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) the full word for prelims


[prɪlɪmɪnrɪz] nplpreliminari mpl
References in classic literature ?
Cora betrayed a disposition to support her sister, and the sacred song proceeded, after the indispensable preliminaries of the pitchpipe, and the tune had been duly attended to by the methodical David.
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?
These preliminaries being ended, I went to my principal and asked him if he was ready.
All the conventional preliminaries proper to the occasion were easily disposed of.
After some mental debating of the point, he came to the conclusion that it would be as well to get all the preliminaries done with, and they could then arrange at their leisure whether he should give her his hand a week or two before Michaelmas Term, or in the little Christmas vacation between it and Hilary.
The preliminaries are adjusted, and the butcher and myself stand face to face.
These preliminaries settled, he did not care to put off any longer the execution of his design, urged on to it by the thought of all the world was losing by his delay, seeing what wrongs he intended to right, grievances to redress, injustices to repair, abuses to remove, and duties to discharge.
He had seen in his province--that land in which heads become so easily heated--a few of the preliminaries of duels; but the daring of these four fencers appeared to him the strongest he had ever heard of even in Gascony.
Danglars; to-day all preliminaries will be arranged at my father's, and to-morrow, or next day at latest, the wedding festival here at La Reserve.
Next come the legal effects, always supposing that the wronged party can summon heart enough to carry on a suit, with bruised affections--" "hang it," thought Tom, "why did I not think of that word 'bruised' while on my knees; it would tell like a stiletto--" "Yes, Miss Julia, if 'bruised affections' would permit the soul to descend to such preliminaries.
Without further preliminaries than a friendly nod, he addressed me: "You have got her pretty well in her fore and aft trim.
the Warden announced, wasting no time over preliminaries.