From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpreliminarypre‧lim‧i‧na‧ry1 /prɪˈlɪmənəri $ -neri/ ●○○AWL adjective [only before noun] 🔊 🔊 BEGINNINGhappening before something that is more important, often in order to prepare for it 🔊 the preliminary stages of the competition 🔊 a preliminary draftpreliminary to 🔊 The discussions were preliminary to preparing a policy paper.
preliminarypreliminary2AWL noun (plural preliminaries) [countable usually plural] 🔊 🔊 1BEGINNINGsomething that is said or done first, to introduce or prepare for something elsepreliminary to 🔊 Pilot studies are a useful preliminary to large research projects. 🔊 After the usual preliminaries, the chairman made his announcement.2DSone of the games in the first part of a competition, when it is decided who will go on to the main competition 🔊 Four teams will be eliminated in the preliminaries.
Examples from the Corpus
preliminary• This is a move that immediately suggests a preliminary to political blackmail.• The official opening is in September, but preliminaries include a showing of sculptures in August.• Of course such a stage is an essentialpreliminary to the formulation of a theory of the performance of action.• Equally, this important preliminary is vital to the success of choosing a suitablecomputer system.• He was in Lane 4, center stage, because he had gone faster than anyone else in the morning preliminaries.From Longman Business Dictionarypreliminarypre‧lim‧i‧na‧ry /prɪˈlɪmənəri-neri/ adjective [only before a noun]coming before something more official, more important etcPreliminary estimates indicate that earnings will decline substantially from a year ago.The group will set the preliminary pricing for $235 million revenue bonds.They obtained apreliminary injunction (=a legal ruling, stopping someone doing something) against the company.