pro·le·gom·e·non (prō′lĭ-gŏmə-nŏn′, -nən)
n. pl. pro·le·gom·e·na (-nə)
1. A preliminary discussion, especially a formal essay introducing a work of considerable length or complexity.
2. prolegomena (used with a sing. or pl. verb) Prefatory remarks or observations.
[Greek, from neuter present passive participle of prolegein, to say beforehand : pro-, before; see PRO-2 + legein, to speak; see leg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.