Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “preliminary”

See all translations

preliminary

adjective [before noun] uk   /prɪˈlɪm.ɪ.nər.i/ us    /-ə.ner-/
C1 coming before a more important action or event, especially introducing or preparing for it: Preliminary results show that the vaccine is effective, but this has to be confirmed by further medical trials. We've decided to change the design based on our preliminary findings.
More examples

preliminary

noun [C usually plural] uk   /prɪˈlɪm.ɪ.nər.i/ us    /-ə.ner-/
an event or action that introduces or prepares for something else: After a few polite preliminaries (= introductions), we stated our main ideas and intentions. The French team finished first in the competition preliminaries (= the first part of the competition).
Translations of “preliminary”
in Spanish preliminar…
in French préliminaire…
in German einleitend…
in Chinese (Traditional) 初步的,起始的, 預備的…
in Russian предварительный…
in Turkish başlangıç, ilk, ön…
in Chinese (Simplified) 初步的,起始的, 预备的…
in Polish wstępny…
(Definition of preliminary from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of preliminary?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “preliminary” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

sail

When a boat or a ship sails, it travels on the water.

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More