Definition of prelim in US English:

prelim

noun

informal
  • 1A preliminary examination, especially at a college.

    • ‘They are causing maximum unrest at a critical phase for all our senior pupils as they approach their prelim examinations.’
    • ‘Perhaps, as Professor Merson suggests, school should restore the old prelims and use them to ‘weight’ external exams.’
    • ‘He keeps meaning to study for his Highers, but so far he's failed all his prelims.’
    • ‘I didn't do as well as I needed to in the prelim but with the tutor I feel more confident and my vocabulary has improved.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As I watched the press conference, I was thinking that he reminded me of a graduate student at his oral prelims who wasn't really ready, but thought the committee would just let him skate through.’
    • ‘That student has now been warned to get a 2: 1 in prelims or else be sent down.’
    • ‘After neglecting my revision, I failed two of my five Higher prelims.’
    • ‘I think I failed my prelims… oh well, the real exam isn't till November!’
    • ‘‘I scored an A in the prelim and I'm sure I passed the exam,’ says Tiller.’
    • ‘I used to have to stay up the whole night before most of my O'level prelims, given that I only tended to start studying the entire year's work at 3 or 4 that afternoon.’
    1. 1.1 A preliminary round in an athletic competition.
      ‘the prelims of the 400-meter free relay’
      • ‘If they win, they will be at home the week after in the prelim round to either Ashington or Esh Winning.’
      • ‘Over the course of the week, counting prelims and semifinals, Ally swam no fewer than 30 times!’
      • ‘Posting spectacular times during the prelims and semifinals, Crocker entered the championship race as the favorite.’
      • ‘It took a very long time for me to warm down from the race, and even after my nap between prelims and finals, I didn't feel like I had recovered.’
      • ‘This is one of the prelim rounds to get to go to Paris.’
      • ‘Penny has always swum fast in every race, prelim or finals.’
      • ‘Phelps is the world record-holder in the 400m IM and takes to the water in prelims in the morning and finals at night.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘After posting the second fastest times in prelims and semifinals of the 200 fly, Phelps positioned himself perfectly for the final, the biggest race of his life.’
      • ‘He's a great swimmer and was fast in the prelims and semi-finals.’
      • ‘The team were penalized 97 points last year when one swimmer missed the start of his prelim race on the final day.’
      • ‘The event continues tonight at 7pm with the last of the prelims.’
      • ‘He still earned a gold medal as a prelim relay swimmer and captured silver in the 200 back along with a fifth-place finish in the 100 back.’
      • ‘The prelims and semi-finals would be held on the same day.’
  • 2prelimsThe pages preceding the main text of a book, including the title, contents, and preface.

    front matter, introductory material, preliminary material, prefatory material, forward matter, introduction, foreword, preface, preamble
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century: abbreviation of preliminary.

Pronunciation

prelim

/ˈprēlim//ˈprilɪm/