prefatory

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

1670s, from Medieval Latin *praefator +‎ -ory (agent), from Medieval Latin prefatia (whence preface), for classical Latin praefatio (a saying beforehand) – see preface for details.[1]

Note that this is borrowed from Latin, not derived in English from preface, as in occasional misspelling *prefecatory.

Adjective[edit]

prefatory (comparative more prefatory, superlative most prefatory)

  1. introductory, preliminary, serving as a prelude or preface.

Usage notes[edit]

Rather formal and academic – preliminary is less formal, while introductory is less formal still. Casual alternative is to use some from of start, as in “To start…” or “Let me start by saying…”, as opposed to “By way of prefatory remarks…”.

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ prefatory” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).