Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

preparatory

adjective
     
pre‧par‧a‧to‧ry
1 [only before noun] done in order to get ready for something:
preparatory talks to clear the way for a peace settlement
preparatory drawings
A lot of preparatory work still needs to be done.
2

preparatory to something

formal before something else and in order to prepare for it:
The partners held several meetings preparatory to signing the agreement.

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