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 (prō′lĭ-gŏm′ə-nŏn′, -nən)
n. pl. pro·le·gom·e·na (-nə)
1. A preliminary discussion, especially a formal essay introducing a work of considerable length or complexity.
2. prolegomena(used with a sing. or pl. verb) Prefatory remarks or observations.

[Greek, from neuter present passive participle of prolegein, to say beforehand : pro-, before; see pro-2 + legein, to speak; see leg- in Indo-European roots.]

pro′le·gom′e·nous adj.
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1. Before or in preparation for the main matter, action, or business:
2. Serving to introduce a subject or person, for example:
References in classic literature ?
As we are now entering upon a book in which the course of our history will oblige us to relate some matters of a more strange and surprizing kind than any which have hitherto occurred, it may not be amiss, in the prolegomenous or introductory chapter, to say something of that species of writing which is called the marvellous.
Its prolegomenous lines date from the 1997 National Health Conference (CNS) and are engaged in an overall public health policy, built around the main line of improvement of the quality and the coordination of cancer-care practice.
Since most law and literature work is undertaken under the rubric of law in literature, I devote Section Two of this introduction to a prolegomenous look at selected works of apartheid and post-apartheid literature to explore some of the possibilities for this kind of scholarship that such works afford.