Definitions

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

  • n. A preliminary statement, especially the introduction to a formal document that serves to explain its purpose.
  • n. An introductory occurrence or fact; a preliminary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • v. To make a preamble to; to preface; to serve as a preamble.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. A preliminary statement; an introductory paragraph or division of a discourse or writing; a preface; prologue; prelude.
  • n. Specifically The introductory part of a statute or resolution, which states or indicates the reasons and intent of what follows.

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

  • v. make a preliminary introduction, usually to a formal document
  • n. a preliminary introduction to a statute or constitution (usually explaining its purpose)

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French preambule, from Medieval Latin praeambulum, from neuter of praeambulus, walking in front : prae-, pre- + ambulāre, to walk; see ambulate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French preambule (French: préambule), from Medieval Latin praeambulum, from praeambulo ("to walk before") (Wiktionary)

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

  • 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

  • This preamble, rather a long preamble, is all by way 'of introduction or explanation as to why I, as a scientist, have been involved for the last twenty-three years of my life in this vulgar medium of television and also radio - why I feel that it is very important that we use the media to try to inform the public about these important forces that are shaping their lives.

    The Runaway Brain

  • Now, the only reason I am making this preamble is to make the point that quite definitely the theatre is not as important or of as much interest to you as it is to me.

    The Theatre As We Know It

  • I went to Paris and called on him, and after a certain preamble and a general discussion about international politics, I had to confide in him that I had now four guests that were coming to a banquet with me in the palace at Versailles.

    Canadian Unity

  • The three months that followed my return to New York a few days later were as good in their way as this novelistic preamble, which is to say they were highly romantic, full of passionate sex, jealousy it was during this period that she flew out to L.A. to have dinner with the rakish Irish movie star Gabriel Byrne, who was interested in her screenplay, and lots and lots of projection, at least on my part.

    TAKE ME TO THE RIVER

  • This preamble is to say that I finally got around to finishing an article in last week's (6 February) issue, pp 24-25, "Northern Lights", introducedthus: "The latest surge of Scandinavian novels is leading a crime-in-translation boom from across the continent.

    February 2009

Comments

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  • A preamble is the amble you do before the actual amble.

    December 9, 2011

  • EduardoA is a spammer. Mildly cute, perhaps, but a spammer.

    September 22, 2009

  • That was a great definition of preamble. As we all know, we have our preamble in our US Constitution. It reads:

    "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    It doesn't have much legal authority, but that said, it was written during the Constitutional Convention, held in the fall of 1787 in Philadelphia. The framework for the Constitution was written by James Madison, and signed by convention delegates on September 17th. It was written down by Jacob Shallus, whose handwritten copy is still on display. There you go – you don't need to put any fast cash to find out what the Preamble to the Constitution says.

    September 22, 2009

  • Thanks, Wordizens!

    August 1, 2009

  • I'm with skippy on this one!

    August 1, 2009

  • PREEamble

    August 1, 2009

  • Ha ha!

    August 1, 2009

  • The Bhagavad Gita, yes.

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

    August 1, 2009

  • ...in the preamble to the bible?

    August 1, 2009

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

    August 1, 2009

  • Preeeeem-bl!

    August 1, 2009

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

    August 1, 2009

  • (FracDef) A warm-up exercise at the Senior Olympics.
    Thank you Teri Townsend.

    February 16, 2008