Definition of prelim in English:


Syllabification: pre·lim
Pronunciation: /ˈprēˌlim


  • 1An event that precedes or prepares for another, in particular.
    More example sentences
    • All the prelims events will be over and done with on the first day itself, so that only the finalists are in the fray on the second day.
    • It's going to come out anyway at the prelim, and there really isn't any precedent for this.
    • Jean Biswas, who managed the prelims in Bangalore, says that the event is an attempt to ‘help the married woman discover herself’.
  • 1.1A preliminary examination, especially at a college.
    More example sentences
    • They are causing maximum unrest at a critical phase for all our senior pupils as they approach their prelim examinations.
    • He keeps meaning to study for his Highers, but so far he's failed all his prelims.
    • Concern is mounting amongst parents that past exam papers, which pupils need to revise for their prelim standard grade exams before Christmas, are not yet on sale in bookshops.
  • 1.2A preliminary round in an athletic competition: the prelims of the 400-meter free relay
    More example sentences
    • ‘I have my selections for the prelim rounds, but only one swimmer identified for the finals,’ he said.
    • Unlike the prelims, when five gymnasts from each country compete and four scores count, in the final only three gymnasts perform and all three scores count.
    • He's a great swimmer and was fast in the prelims and semi-finals.
  • 2 (prelims) The pages preceding the main text of a book, including the title, contents, and preface.


late 19th century: abbreviation of preliminary.

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