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PRELIMINARY. Something which precedes, as preliminaries of peace, which are the first sketch of a treaty, and contain the principal articles on which both parties are desirous of concluding, and which are to serve as the basis of the treaty.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The younger sister was eligible to take part in the regional preliminaries in China because both sisters have lived in Beijing.
The 2018 Miss Korea Pageant's 17 regional preliminaries began on April 7 and ended on May 31 with about 50 contestants heading to the final.
Hockey: 11:30am-3:15pm -- Women's preliminaries (2 matches)
Basketball: 12pm-4pm -- Men's preliminaries (2 games)
Over time, however, as fewer and fewer people have run for public office, citywide preliminaries have become the exception.
Because preliminaries don't tend to attract many voters, those candidates who have the ability to get their vote out tend to be among the top finishers.
Wasn't there something in the preliminaries about promising to not say bad things?
The Rosebowl preliminaries begin on Sunday, October 20 and 27.
Badminton: 12:30pm-3pm - Men's Singles, Doubles: preliminaries