preliminary ( preliminaries plural )
1 adj Preliminary activities or discussions take place at the beginning of an event, often as a form of preparation.
usu ADJ n
Preliminary results show the Republican party with 11 percent of the vote..., Preliminary talks on the future of the bases began yesterday.
2 n-count A preliminary is something that you do at the beginning of an activity, often as a form of preparation.
oft N to n/-ing
A background check is normally a preliminary to a presidential appointment.
3 n-count A preliminary is the first part of a competition to see who will go on to the main competition.
The winner of each preliminary goes through to the final.
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"