Pronunciation: (pri-lim'u-ner"ē), [key]
—adj., n., pl. -nar•ies.
preceding and leading up to the main part, matter, or business; introductory; preparatory: preliminary examinations.
1. something preliminary, as an introductory or preparatory step, measure, contest, etc.: He passed the preliminary and went on to the finals.
2. a boxing match or other athletic contest that takes place before the main event on the program: A preliminary was fought at 8:00.
3. a preliminary examination, as of a candidate for an academic degree.
4. preliminaries, Print.See front matter.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.