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. A casual alternative is to use some form 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, 2001–2017.

Anagrams[edit]