What does the word preamble mean?

Usage examples for preamble

  1. They were impatient to hear it in distinct words; and yet they had to wait, as if unconscious, during all the long preamble. – Sylvia's Lovers -- Complete by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  2. During the canvass of that year, demonstrations had been made by quasi- military organizations in various parts of the North, which looked unmistakably to purposes widely different from those enunciated in the preamble to the Constitution, and to the employment of means not authorized by the powers which the States had delegated to the Federal Government. – The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, Vol. 1 (of 2) by Jefferson Davis
  3. He waited awhile until they were all comfortably settled, and all ready to listen, then: " It is about the Dauphin," he said abruptly without further preamble. – El Dorado by Baroness Orczy