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How to pronounce prefatory (audio)


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Dictionary definition of prefatory

Pertaining to, or associated with, a preface or introductory section of a book, document, speech, or other written or spoken work.
"The prefatory pages of the book provided important background information."

Detailed meaning of prefatory

When something is prefatory, it means it serves as an introduction or preliminary part that provides context, sets the tone, or offers background information for the main content that follows. Prefatory elements often include acknowledgments, dedications, forewords, or introductory remarks and play a crucial role in helping the audience or readers understand the purpose and scope of the work. "Prefatory" highlights the introductory nature of these components, emphasizing their role in framing the subsequent content and preparing the audience for what lies ahead.

Example sentences containing prefatory

1. The book begins with a prefatory note from the author, setting the stage for the story to come.
2. His prefatory comments hinted at his complex theories.
3. I took note of the prefatory remarks that came before the main lecture.
4. The conference started with prefatory speeches by the organizers.
5. The novel's prefatory chapter gave an overview of the protagonist's background.
6. She skimmed through the prefatory pages to get to the meat of the book.

History and etymology of prefatory

The term 'prefatory' derives its etymology from the Latin word 'praefatio,' which in turn originates from the verb 'praefari,' where 'prae' means 'before' and 'fari' means 'to speak.' This Latin root reflects the concept of something spoken or written before the main body of a text or discourse. Over time, 'praefatio' evolved into the Old French term 'preface,' which eventually entered Middle English as 'preface' and later developed into the adjective 'prefatory.' Therefore, when we describe something as 'prefatory,' we are invoking its connection to that which precedes or introduces the main content of a written or spoken work, particularly the preface or introductory section.

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Further usage examples of prefatory

1. His prefatory statement made it clear he did not support the proposal.
2. The prefatory words in the guidebook helped tourists understand the history of the place.
3. His prefatory remarks were as inspiring as the rest of his speech.
4. The instructor gave a prefatory lecture on the course syllabus.
5. I found the prefatory instructions on the gadget to be very helpful.
6. The report began with a prefatory section outlining its main points.
7. The essay included a prefatory note about the sources of information.
8. I appreciated the prefatory comments in the manual which simplified the setup process.
9. The prefatory segment of the documentary provided historical context.
10. I usually skip the prefatory remarks in novels, eager to dive into the story.
11. The prefatory paragraph did a good job in summarizing the upcoming material.
12. His prefatory comments, though brief, were insightful and relevant.
13. The prefatory sections of academic papers often contain important context.
14. The cook book's prefatory note explained the author's philosophy about food and cooking.



introductory, concluding, final, ending


Prefix pre-, SAT 14 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Literary and Artistic Elements, Writing and Composing

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