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Meaning of preliminary

pre•lim•i•nar•y

Pronunciation: (pri-lim'u-ner"ē), [key]
— adj., n., pl. -nar•ies.
—adj.
  1. preceding and leading up to the main part, matter, or business; introductory; preparatory: preliminary examinations.
—n.
  1. something preliminary, as an introductory or preparatory step, measure, contest, etc.: He passed the preliminary and went on to the finals.
  2. a boxing match or other athletic contest that takes place before the main event on the program: A preliminary was fought at 8:00.
  3. a preliminary examination, as of a candidate for an academic degree.
  4. See
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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