Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or constituting a preface; introductory. See Synonyms at preliminary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. introductory, preliminary, serving as a prelude or preface.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pertaining to, or of the nature of, a preface; introductory to a book, essay, or discourse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Belonging to a preface; serving as or resembling a preface; introductory.
  • Synonyms Introductory, preliminary, precursory, preparatory. See introduction.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. serving as an introduction or preface

Etymologies

From Latin praefātus, past participle of praefārī, to say before; see preface.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1670s, from Medieval Latin *praefator +‎ -ory (“agent”), from Medieval Latin prefatia (whence preface), for classical Latin praefatio ("a saying beforehand") – see preface for details. (Wiktionary)

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