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English definition of “preliminary”

preliminary

adjective [not gradable]  /prɪˈlɪm·əˌner·i/ us  
coming before a more important action or event, esp. introducing or preparing for it: preliminary talks a preliminary investigation The preliminary rounds of negotiation went well.
preliminary
noun [C usually pl]  /prɪˈlɪm·əˌner·i/ us  
Her time of 12:32 took four seconds off the mark she set in Friday’s preliminaries.
(Definition of preliminary from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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