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preliminary

2 noun
     
Related topics: Sport
preliminary2 plural preliminaries [countable usually plural]
1 something that is said or done first, to introduce or prepare for something else
preliminary to
Pilot studies are a useful preliminary to large research projects.
After the usual preliminaries, the chairman made his announcement.
2DS one 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.

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