Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A preliminary statement, especially.
  • noun The introduction to a formal document that explains its purpose.
  • noun A statement accompanying a law or regulation specifying its purpose or reason for enactment.
  • noun An introductory occurrence or fact; a preliminary.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A preliminary statement; an introductory paragraph or division of a discourse or writing; a preface; prologue; prelude.
  • noun Specifically The introductory part of a statute or resolution, which states or indicates the reasons and intent of what follows.
  • To go before; precede; serve as a preamble.
  • To make a preamble; preface one's remarks or actions; prelude.
  • To walk over previously; tread beforehand.
  • To preface; introduce with preliminary remarks.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A introductory portion; an introduction or preface, as to a book, document, etc.; specifically, the introductory part of a statute, which states the reasons and intent of the law.
  • verb rare To make a preamble to; to preface; to serve as a preamble.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A short preliminary statement or remark, especially an explanatory introduction to a formal document or statute.
  • noun computing A syncword.

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

  • verb make a preliminary introduction, usually to a formal document
  • noun a preliminary introduction to a statute or constitution (usually explaining its purpose)

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French preambule, from Medieval Latin praeambulum, from neuter of Late Latin praeambulus, walking in front : Latin prae-, pre- + Latin ambulāre, to walk; see ambulate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French preambule (French: préambule), from Medieval Latin praeambulum, from praeambulo ("to walk before")

Examples

  • Secondly, many argue that the preamble is being read too narrowly: that an individual using a weapon to protect his individual rights is just as necessary to the security of a free state as protecting it from a foreign army or an armed rebellion.

    Supreme Court Preview: McDonald v. Chicago | Heretical Ideas Magazine

  • 'I suspect that this lengthy preamble is intended to conceal the poverty of my story, for I am apprehensive.

    47 entries from February 2008

  • 'I suspect that this lengthy preamble is intended to conceal the poverty of my story, for I am apprehensive.

    The Hour of the Star - Clarice Lispector

  • 'I suspect that this lengthy preamble is intended to conceal the poverty of my story, for I am apprehensive.

    The Hour of the Star - Clarice Lispector

  • This preamble is to note that I discovered quite a few very good authors for the first time via the editor's recommendation route.

    Sunday Salon: clubs and Ingrid Black

  • This preamble is to note that I discovered quite a few very good authors for the first time via the editor's recommendation route.

    Sunday Salon: clubs and Ingrid Black

  • This preamble is to note that I discovered quite a few very good authors for the first time via the editor's recommendation route.

    November 2007

  • The Nights: here the preamble is insufficient; the whole is clumsy for want of a thread upon which the many independent tales and fables should be strung298; and the consequent disorder and confusion tell upon the reader, who cannot remember the sequence without taking notes.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • That preamble is just an excuse to show this little bit of amateur photoshopping.

    Archive 2004-11-01

  • That preamble is just an excuse to show this little bit of amateur photoshopping.

    All we need is Blog?

Comments

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  • (FracDef) A warm-up exercise at the Senior Olympics.

    Thank you Teri Townsend.

    February 16, 2008

  • Polling Wordizens:

    Do you say PREE-amm-ble or PREamble? Or something else, like PRE-AM-ble?

    August 1, 2009

  • Preeeeem-bl!

    August 1, 2009

  • pree AM ble, the way God intended it be said.

    August 1, 2009

  • ...in the preamble to the bible?

    August 1, 2009

  • The Bhagavad Gita, yes.

    I don't get to use my religion major very often...

    August 1, 2009

  • Ha ha!

    August 1, 2009

  • PREEamble

    August 1, 2009

  • I'm with skippy on this one!

    August 1, 2009

  • Thanks, Wordizens!

    August 1, 2009