Meaning of prolegomenon in English:


Pronunciation /ˌprəʊlɪˈɡɒmɪn(ə)n/

nounplural noun prolegomena

  • A critical or discursive introduction to a book.

    ‘a prolegomenon to the second part’
    • ‘the prolegomena to the enquiry’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To me, they feel like a prolegomena to another volume.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In a philosophical prolegomenon, Schmidt examines twin interpretive narratives that, he argues, have obscured the study of modern hearing.’
    • ‘That same year, 1981, he published ‘Europa,’ a prolegomenon to Omeros and later work.’
    • ‘Horton's work is a prolegomenon of sorts, though it could be written only in the collapse of modernity.’
    • ‘This can be seen as a prolegomenon to making wise women's theories influential.’
    • ‘Properly speaking, these relics are but prolegomena to resurrection.’
    • ‘The book is organized on a conventional scheme of theological loci, from prolegomena through eschatology.’
    • ‘The systematic theologians among the authors turn either to history or to prolegomena.’
    • ‘I make that lengthy prolegomenon in order to ensure that my point is not misunderstood.’
    • ‘For this reason, theological construction needs no elaborate, foundation-setting, certainty-gaining prolegomenon.’
    beginning, start, outset, inception, launch, birth, dawn


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