The definition of preliminary is something that happens or comes before the main action.
An example of a preliminary act is a drug screen that happens before a new employee is hired.
coming before or leading up to the main action, discussion, business, etc.; introductory; prefatory; preparatory
Origin of preliminaryfrom French préliminaire or Modern Latin praeliminaris from Classical Latin prae- (see pre-) + Classical Latin liminaris, of a threshold from limen, threshold (see limen)
- a preliminary step, procedure, etc.
- a preliminary examination
- a contest or match before the main one
Origin of preliminaryFr préliminaires, pl.
Prior to or preparing for the main matter, action, or business; introductory or prefatory.
often preliminaries Something that precedes another item of a similar kind, especially:
a. A contest to determine the finalists in a competition.
b. An event that precedes the main event, especially in boxing or wrestling.
c. An academic examination taken before a longer, more complex, or more important examination.
d. An introductory remark made before a speech, presentation, or meeting.
Origin of preliminaryFrom New Latin praelīmināris Latin prae- pre- Latin līmen līmin- threshold