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Definition of preliminary
preceding or done in preparation for something fuller or more important:a preliminary draft the discussions were seen as preliminary to the policy paper
noun (plural preliminaries)
a preliminary action or event:the bombardment was resumed as a preliminary to an infantry attack
) business or talk, especially of a formulaic or polite nature, taking place before an action or event:she began speaking, without preliminaries
a preliminary round in a sporting competition.
) the prelims of a text.