1 advance, prior, introductory, beginning, initial, opening, preparatory, prefatory, preceding, antecedent, forerunning; premonitory; Formal or technical prodromal or prodromic:
The preliminary design for the swimming-pool is ready. After some preliminary remarks, the ceremonies got under way.
2 introduction, beginning, opening, preparation, groundwork, prelude, precedence; overture:
We insist on rigorous training as a preliminary to working in the field.
3 prelims. Rarely, preliminaries. introduction, preface, foreword, preamble, prologue, front matter, Formal proem, exordium, prolegomenon, prodromus, prodrome:
The manuscript is finished and we are waiting for the prelims.
essential, necessary, useful | usual
After the usual preliminaries the meeting began.
as a ~
The two presidents met today, as a preliminary to resuming the peace talks.
| without preliminaries
She began speaking intensely, without preliminaries.
| ~ to
an essential preliminary to serious research
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