Preliminary event, as in This limited attack on the chairman is just a curtain raiser for the concerted effort to oust him. This term literally refers to a short play or skit presented before the main theatrical production. It began to be transferred to other preliminaries about 1940.
|a children's mummer's parade, as on the Fourth of July, with prizes for the best costumes.|
|a gadget; dingus; thingumbob.|