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Definition of "preface" []

  • A preliminary statement or essay introducing a book that explains its scope, intention, or background and is usually written by the author. (noun)
  • An introductory section, as of a speech. (noun)
  • Something introductory; a preliminary: An informal brunch served as a preface to the three-day conference. (noun)
  • The words introducing the central part of the Eucharist in several Christian churches. (noun)
  • To introduce by or provide with a preliminary statement or essay. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "preface" in a sentence
  • "Aristotle in his poetic art as an essential part of tragedy, was an even, simple chant, like that which we call the preface to mass, which in my opinion is the Gregorian chant, and not the Ambrosian, and which is a true melopée."
  • "Clearly, the preface is ambivalent; the critique of enthusiasm with which the preface begins undermines its polemic, and vice versa."
  • "AS a preface is the only place where an author can with propriety explain a purpose or apologize for shortcomings, I venture to avail myself of the privilege to make a statement for the benefit of my readers."