Definitions

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

  • n. A preliminary discussion, especially a formal essay introducing a work of considerable length or complexity.
  • n. Prefatory remarks or observations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A prefatory discussion; a formal essay or critical discussion serving to introduce and interpret an extended work.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A preliminary remark or observation; an introductory discourse prefixed to a book or treatise.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A preliminary observation: chiefly used in the plural, and applied to an introductory discourse prefixed to a book or treatise.

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

  • n. a preliminary discussion inserted at the beginning of a book or treatise

Etymologies

Greek, from neuter present passive participle of prolegein, to say beforehand : pro-, before; see pro-2 + legein, to speak; see leg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek προλεγομένων (prolegomenon) referring to an introduction. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Vives 'philosophical reflections on the human soul are mainly concentrated in De anima et vita, published in 1538, which provides the psychological underpinning for many of his educational ideas and can be characterized as a prolegomenon to moral philosophy.

    Juan Luis Vives [Joannes Ludovicus Vives]

  • MWword prolegomenon: Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July

    Gaea Times (by Simple Thoughts) Breaking News and incisive views 24/7

  • Yesterday, I wrote what I think is the longest "prolegomenon" I've ever written for Sirenia Digest, at 1,140 words.

    "My sins my own. They belong to me, me."

  • Reading and editing the two new stories, writing the "prolegomenon," laying out the issue, etc.

    "There's a great black wave in the middle of the sea for me, for you..."

  • Yesterday was spent formatting Sirenia Digest #52 (and proofreading, and writing the prolegomenon), which is pretty close to being ready to go out.

    "There's blood in the sky. It bleeds from the land."

  • Therefore have I chosen, in this prolegomenon, to unload my burden of thanks at thy feet, for the favour with which thou last kindly entertained the

    The Heart of Mid-Lothian

  • These progressives, in the very act of founding their organization, ratified the keystone of conservative reasoning and thus let people think that here was a kind of axiom, an inviolable norm, a kind of prolegomenon for any political reasoning, present or future.

    Road Trip: Part II

  • But for some people, seeing death as the permanent end of one's existence, or alternatively as a prolegomenon to another life, will be a constitutive factor of the ultimate context in which to live.

    Pantheism

  • The final section of the Ethics is therefore intended as an prolegomenon to Aristotle's political writings.

    Aristotle's Ethics

  • The senses, thus, function hierarchically as a prolegomenon to any form of higher knowledge, with the imagination forming the threshold (mezzo) between the senses and the intellect.

    Judah Abrabanel

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  • What are the Lego men on?

    October 26, 2010