Definition of prolegomenon in US English:

prolegomenon

noun

  • A critical or discursive introduction to a book.

    • ‘Most of this essay will be a lengthy digression, a prolegomenon to a much needed investigation of the material specificity of film in relation to the female body and its syntax.’
    • ‘I make that lengthy prolegomenon in order to ensure that my point is not misunderstood.’
    • ‘Horton's work is a prolegomenon of sorts, though it could be written only in the collapse of modernity.’
    • ‘To me, they feel like a prolegomena to another volume.’
    • ‘This can be seen as a prolegomenon to making wise women's theories influential.’
    • ‘For this reason, theological construction needs no elaborate, foundation-setting, certainty-gaining prolegomenon.’
    • ‘That same year, 1981, he published ‘Europa,’ a prolegomenon to Omeros and later work.’
    • ‘The book is organized on a conventional scheme of theological loci, from prolegomena through eschatology.’
    • ‘He begins with a 1400-page prolegomena, entitled ‘The Doctrine of the Word of God,’ containing a strong emphasis on preaching or church proclamation as the material of dogmatics.’
    • ‘The answer to this question may be that Aristotle does not intend Book VI to provide a full answer to that question, but rather to serve as a prolegomenon to an answer.’
    • ‘The systematic theologians among the authors turn either to history or to prolegomena.’
    • ‘Properly speaking, these relics are but prolegomena to resurrection.’
    • ‘Close reading of classical texts, he believes, ‘is a necessary prolegomenon both to understanding the traditions of Christian culture and to the articulation of constructive theological statements’.’
    • ‘After some elaborate prolegomena, the book follows a calendrical sequence, each poem dated and grouped by month so that the events of a hundred years follow a seasonal ebb and flow, not chronology.’
    • ‘In a philosophical prolegomenon, Schmidt examines twin interpretive narratives that, he argues, have obscured the study of modern hearing.’
    • ‘We have been attending to ‘exists’ and ‘is’ not for their own sake but purely as a prolegomenon to an ontological question, namely, that of existence.’
    • ‘This first chapter is a necessary prolegomenon, but for the casual reader or one unfamiliar with the issues, it would prove hard going.’
    beginning, start, outset, inception, launch, birth, dawn
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 17th century: via Latin from Greek, passive present participle (neuter) of prolegein ‘say beforehand’, from pro ‘before’ + legein ‘say’.

Pronunciation

prolegomenon

/-nən/