Introductory; previous; preceding the main discourse or business; prefatory; as, preliminary observations to a discourse or book; preliminary articles to a treaty; preliminary measures; preliminary examinations.
That which precedes the main discourse, work, design, or business; something introductory or preparatory; as, the preliminaries to a negotiation or duel; to take one's preliminaries the year before entering college.
Doubt, the essential preliminary of all improvement and discovery, must accompany the stages of man's onward progress. The faculty of doubting and questioning, without which those of comparison and judgment would be useless, is itself a divine prerogative of the reason. Albert Pike