Meaning of “preliminary” in the English Dictionary

"preliminary" in British English

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preliminaryadjective [ before noun ]

uk /prɪˈlɪm.ɪ.nər.i/ us /prɪˈlɪm.ə.ner.i/

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.

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preliminarynoun [ C usually plural ]

uk /prɪˈlɪm.ɪ.nər.i/ us /prɪˈlɪm.ə.ner.i/

(Definition of “preliminary” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"preliminary" in American English

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preliminaryadjective [ not gradable ]

us /prɪˈlɪm·əˌner·i/

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.
noun [ C usually pl ] us /prɪˈlɪm·əˌner·i/

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)

"preliminary" in Business English

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uk /prɪˈlɪmɪnəri/ us /prɪˈlɪmɪneri/

coming before or done to prepare for a main or more important action, event, etc:

preliminary data/numbers/statistics The preliminary numbers indicate that all classes of creditors have accepted the plan.
A final report showed inflation rising 2.4%, up from a preliminary estimate of 2.3%.
He emphasized that the commissioner's decision is only preliminary.
The National Transportation Safety Board, in a preliminary report, did not say what may have caused the crash.
The case was dismissed because prosecutors were not ready for the preliminary hearing.
preliminary agreement/approval/decision The commission has given preliminary approval to another 27 projects totaling $3.1 billion.
a preliminary inquiry/investigation At present a preliminary investigation is under way.
preliminary discussions/meetings/talks

preliminarynoun [ C, usually plural ]

uk /prɪˈlɪmɪnəri/ us /prɪˈlɪmɪneri/ plural preliminaries

an event or action that prepares for or introduces something:

After the greetings and other preliminaries, the meeting got down to serious business.

(Definition of “preliminary” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)