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