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Related to preamble: Bill of Rights


A clause at the beginning of a constitution or statute explaining the reasons for its enactment and the objectives it seeks to attain.

Generally a preamble is a declaration by the legislature of the reasons for the passage of the statute, and it aids in the interpretation of any ambiguities within the statute to which it is prefixed. It has been held, however, that a preamble is not an essential part of an act, and it neither enlarges nor confers powers.


noun beginning, exordium, foreword, foundation, introduction, introductory part, introductory statement, lead, opening, preface, prefatory note, prelude, prelusion, proem, prolegomenon, prologue
Associated concepts: preamble to a constitution
See also: overture, preface, prelude, threshold


the preliminary part of a document, legislation, a contract or a treaty, usually setting out what it is all about or why it has been prepared, specially used of an Act of Parliament where Parliament expresses the general purposes of the piece of legislation. It can be referred to for the purposes of statutory interpretation.

PREAMBLE. A preface, an introduction or explanation of what is to follow: that clause at the head of acts of congress or other legislatures which explains the reasons why the act is made. Preambles are also frequently put in contracts to, explain the motives of the contracting parties,
     2. A preamble is said to be the key of a statute, to open the minds of the makers as to the mischiefs which are to be remedied, and the objects which are to be accomplished by the provisions of the statutes. It cannot amount, by implication, to enlarge what is expressly given. 1 Story on Const. B 3, c. 6. How far a preamble is to be considered evidence of the facts it recites, see 4 M. & S. 532; 1 Phil. Ev. 239; 2 Russ. on Cr. 720; and see, generally, Ersk. L. of Scotl. 1, 1, 18; Toull. liv. 3, n. 318; 2 Supp. to Ves. jr. 239; 4 L. R. 55; Barr. on the Stat. 353, 370.

References in periodicals archive ?
Reliance on the MLI Preamble: All signatories to the MLI remain subject to language in the MLI's own preamble that is, in fact, more expansive than the option language contained in Article 6(1).
The first coin in the new series, the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Platinum Proof Coin-Life, will be released in early 2018.
But a good example of a preamble expressing a state philosophy is the constitution of Indonesia.
However, Rx-node replies with early-ACK to Tx-node if it finds out an incoming short preamble.
Separating RA preamble pool is also proposed to control the load of RA procedure.
strenuously argued that the preamble language would place the U.
In the preamble to its final regulation regarding fiduciary investment responsibilities, issued in 1979, the DOL's discussion of index funds was one example.
The constitution's preamble included a brief rundown of Egypt's historical cornerstones as well as certain controversial topics among assembly members.
The emergency preamble states that the purpose of the moratorium is to "address the emergence of severe economic conditions facing taxicabs and liveries in the city of Worcester," as well as "seeking to promote public convenience and necessity in the system of safe and efficient transportation options" available to the public.
In October, the SSPX headed by Bishop Fellay met in council to review and discuss the document, noting that the preamble leaves room for modifications.
Dharamsala, May 25 (ANI): Penpa Tsering, speaker of Tibetan parliament in-exile, has announced that a new preamble to the existing Charter of the Tibetan Parliament would be included and that the people would request the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to assume the role of a ceremonial head of the state.
Other GOP senators, led by Arizona's John McCain, fret that some language in the preamble stating that the interrelationship between offensive and defensive weapons ''will become more important as strategic nuclear arms are reduced'' somehow ties American hands when it comes to missile defense.