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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 ?
When more than one Tx-node wake up and start sending their preambles at the same time, all the other nodes including Rx-node cannot determine address information in the preambles.
Tx-node with a data frame destined to Rx-node, starts to transmit short preambles after the Sched-wakeup, and keeps transmitting short preambles until receiving the early-ACK.
500 R Number of preambles per RAO 15 for road traffic monitoring service [N.
Mobile stations search for its preamble ID at the broadcasted RAR.
recent example of the uncertainty that surrounds treaty preambles.
treaty's preamble or to preambles in general, (24) others
In the preamble to its final regulation regarding fiduciary investment responsibilities, issued in 1979, the DOL's discussion of index funds was one example.
Patterns in the Use of Preambles in Recent Federal Legislation II.
The author of the preamble, Commission Chairman Erwin Chemerinsky, defended all of its provisions, saying it protects ``fundamental'' rights.
It contains the preambles and regulations referring to the prepared and final land ban regulations of hazardous wastes, and can assist in determining the specifics of how to classify dispose and treat toxic materials.
The proposed preamble is compared with three other conventional preambles under the IEEE 802.
147) In light of its focus on proper interpretive procedure, the Body's detailed analysis combined with its evident willingness to use the WTO Agreement's preamble to great interpretive effect lends credence to the notion that preambles may exert considerable legal force even under an object-and-purpose analysis.