What does the word preliminary mean?

Usage examples for preliminary

  1. To the preliminary question, as to whether he was related to the prisoner, he answered in a tremulous voice, but in well chosen words, that at the time of the accident he was betrothed to the daughter of the accused. – Landolin by Berthold Auerbach
  2. In firm, yet somehow muffled tones, he answered the preliminary formal questions. – Fantômas by Pierre Souvestre Marcel Allain
  3. The agent of the French Government will be here on Tuesday and all of these preliminary papers must be signed before he can close the matter up finally. – The Daredevil by Maria Thompson Daviess