• WordNet 3.6
    • v preface furnish with a preface or introduction "She always precedes her lectures with a joke","He prefaced his lecture with a critical remark about the institution"
    • n preface a short introductory essay preceding the text of a book
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Preface, Preface,
Part of Caxton's Preface to the 'Recuyell of the Histories of Troye Part of Caxton's Preface to the 'Recuyell of the Histories of Troye

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Preface Something spoken as introductory to a discourse, or written as introductory to a book or essay; a proem; an introduction, or series of preliminary remarks. "This superficial tale
      Is but a preface of her worthy praise."
      "Heaven's high behest no preface needs."
    • Preface (R. C. Ch) The prelude or introduction to the canon of the Mass.
    • v. t Preface To introduce by a preface; to give a preface to; as, to preface a book discourse.
    • v. i Preface To make a preface.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n preface A statement or series of statements introducing a discourse, book, or other composition; a series of preliminary remarks, either written or spoken; a prelude. A preface is generally shorter than an introduction, which contains matter kindred in subject, and additional or leading up to what follows; while a preface is usually confined to particulars relating to the origin, history, scope, or aim of the work to which it is prefixed.
    • n preface [cap, or lowercase] In liturgics, the introductory section of the anaphora; the solemn eucharistic thanksgiving and ascription of glory introducing the canon. The Preface is found of the same type in all liturgies. It begins with the Sursum Corda, generally preceded in early and Oriental forms by the apostolic (2 Cor. xiii. 14) or a similar benediction. After an exhortation to give thanks (Response: “It is meet and right …”), the Preface in the narrower sense begins with the affirmation (contestation) “It is very [truly] meet, etc., to give thanks …” The reason for thankfulness is given in the central division of the form. This in early and Oriental liturgies is invariable, and still retains much of its original character of an extended ascription of glory to God and rehearsal of his dealings with man from the Creation and Fall onward. In Western liturgies a number of proper Prefaces is provided, varying according to the day or season. Probably these were originally sections of the primitive Preface or of the earlier part of the Canon, selected as appropriate to the season or modeled on such sections. The Preface terminates with the Sanctus. Also, in Gallican uses, contestation, illation, immolation.
    • n preface A title; an introductory or explanatory epithet.
    • preface To give a preface to; introduce by preliminary written or spoken remarks, or by an action significant of what is to follow.
    • preface To say as a preface; write or utter in view or explanation of what is to follow.
    • preface To front; face; cover.
    • preface To give a preface; speak, write, or do something preliminary to later action.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Preface pref′ās something usually of an explanatory kind, spoken before: the introduction to a book, &c.: the ascription of glory, &c., in the liturgy of consecration of the eucharist: a title or epithet
    • v.t Preface to introduce with a preface
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. préface,; cf. Sp. prefacio, prefacion, It. prefazio, prefazione,; all fr. L. praefatio, fr. praefari, to speak or say beforehand; prae, before + fari, fatus, to speak. See Fate


In literature:

With an Introductory Preface, giving a Resume of the Progress of Geological Science within the last Two Years.
"Books and Authors" by Anonymous
The poignant Fielding, in his preface to his "Journey to Lisbon," has a fling at the gravity of our doctor.
"Calamities and Quarrels of Authors" by Isaac Disraeli
The Preface shall stand over, as you suggest, until the last, and then, sir, we shall see.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
With Preface by Dr. A. R. Wallace.
"The Girls and I" by Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth
BEAUSSOL, M. Peyraud de, his preface to his condemned tragedy, ii.
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 3 (of 3)" by Isaac Disraeli
With a Preface by Professor F. CLOWES, D.Sc.
"Twentieth Century Inventions" by George Sutherland
In the preface Chillingworth expresses his new view about subscription to the articles.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 2" by Various
Nowhere better than in the prefaces of the pamphleteers can evidence be found of the growing skepticism.
"A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718" by Wallace Notestein
Just as I was completing this preface I received the publishers' notice of a new important book by Herr Duehring.
"Landmarks of Scientific Socialism" by Friedrich Engels
I shall not attempt to crowd a large volume into a small Preface.
"Priests, Women, and Families" by J. Michelet

In poetry:

As solid beds of earth we see
Seem to divide the root and tree;
To place this motto, I'll not fail,
Between the preface and the tale.
"Justice" by William Hutton
Their fancied joys, how fast they flee!
Just like a dream when man awakes;
Their songs of softest harmony
Are but a preface to their plagues.
"Psalm LXXIII: Now I'm Convinced the Lord Is Kind" by Isaac Watts
What wonder man should fail to stay
A nursling wafted from above,
The growth celestial come astray,
That tender growth whose name is Love!
"Afternoon At A Parsonage" by Jean Ingelow
Ours is the ornate birdcage
The brimming cup of water
The preface to the book
And all the clocks are ticking
All the dark rooms are moving
All the air's nerves are bare.
"The Cage" by David Gascoyne
If I have thought that in this rainbow world
The best we see was but a preface given
Of infinite greater tints in heaven,
And life or no, heaven yet would be unfurl'd,—
"Endless Resource" by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop
Perhaps the reader'll think me wrong
In prefacing my tale so long;
May charge me with poetic sin,
For trifling when I should begin:
Yet pardon me, though not the mode,
I'll introduce an episode.
"The Wig" by William Hutton

In news:

Chapter XXI reading by Jeffrey Callison, Capital Public Radio, host of Insight Tom Sawyer preface by McAvoy Layne, Ghost of Mark Twain.
I'd like to preface this tip by saying I have never seen a "Twilight" movie, watched an episode of "True Blood" or fallen victim to any of the vampire hysteria that has swept over pop culture in the last few years.
"I'll preface that by eliminating the 'if,'" he said after Thursday morning's shootaround at AmericanAirlines Arena.
I will preface this by saying that I thought this was the dumbest thing I've ever seen when I first clicked on this.
Let me preface this blog post with the following: I hate exercising.
Let me preface this by saying, I followed the K-State basketball team in great depth last season.
Don Herron here updates his original volume with a new preface by Hammett's daughter Jo and an intro by best-selling mystery writer Charles Willeford.
Let's preface this by saying that Goldmund's products are not for everyone.
I preface this writing with … the following is commentary.
Okay so let me preface this by saying I never look down.
Preface to an unwritten novel .
The following photos are from 'All Access: The Rock & Roll Photography of Ken Regan,' a new collection of the renowned photographer 's work with a preface by Keith Richards.
As a preface I must confess that I am about as flexible as a steel rod.
Let me preface this blog by saying that I don't support anyone who abuses animals.
Most of the chants found here are Prefaces for specific Sundays and solemnities during the seasons of the year.

In science:

According to the preface in , the theory of indefinite-metric space has two origins which are relatively independent.
Algebra with indefinite involution and its representation in Krein space
Meanwhile, a preface is usually written by the author and it will tell you something about the book.
Review of "Garden of integrals"
Mathematics books usually include a preface that tells the reader roughly what topics will be covered, the chapter dependencies, the level of depth, and the required prerequisites.
Review of "Garden of integrals"
We preface the proof by some useful results relating the KFDA statistics to kernel independent quantities.
Testing for Homogeneity with Kernel Fisher Discriminant Analysis
This theorem simplifies a result of and it implies a randomized algorithm with the same performance if we preface the binary tree algorithm with an initial random permutation of the items.
Improved Adaptive Group Testing Algorithms with Applications to Multiple Access Channels and Dead Sensor Diagnosis