A person reading the preface of a book.
- The definition of a preface is an introduction.
An example of a preface is the first part of a book.
- To preface is to introduce something or begin.
An example of to preface is to explain why you are telling a story.
- [usuallyP-]R.C.Ch. the introduction to the canon of the Mass, ending with the Sanctus
- an introductory statement to a book, telling its purpose, plan, etc., esp. a brief one written by the book's author
- something preliminary or introductory; prelude
Origin of prefaceMiddle English prefas from Middle French from Medieval Latin prefatia, for Classical Latin praefatio from prae-, before (see pre-) + fatus, past participle of fari, to speak: see fame
transitive verb-·aced, -·ac·ing
- to furnish or introduce with a preface
- to be or serve as a preface to; begin
- a. A preliminary statement or essay introducing a book that explains its scope, intention, or background and is usually written by the author.b. An introductory section, as of a speech.
- Something introductory; a preliminary: An informal brunch served as a preface to the three-day conference.
- often Preface The words introducing the central part of the Eucharist in several Christian churches.
transitive verbpref·aced, pref·ac·ing, pref·ac·es
- To introduce by or provide with a preliminary statement or essay.
- To serve as an introduction to.
Origin of prefaceMiddle English from Old French from Latin praefātiō praefātiōn- from praefātus past participle of praefārī to say before prae- pre- fārī to speak ; see bhā-2 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present prefaces, present participle prefacing, simple past and past participle prefaced)
- To introduce or make a comment before (the main point).
- Let me preface this by saying that I don't know him that well.
- To give a preface to.
- to preface a book
1350-1400; Middle English prefas, which is from Old French preface (from which derives the modern French prÃ©face), from Medieval Latin prefatia, for classical Latin praefatio (“a saying beforehand"), from praefor (“to speak beforehand"), from prae- (“beforehand") + for (“to speak")