Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over

curtain raiser

a short play preceding a main play.
any preliminary event or performance.
Origin of curtain raiser
1885-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for curtain-raiser
Historical Examples
  • The actors in the curtain-raiser were returning to their dressing-rooms.

    A Mummer's Tale Anatole France
  • This, to be sure, is only the curtain-raiser to the pleasures to follow.

    Pipefuls Christopher Morley
  • The curtain-raiser was over, and very nice too; now for the drama.

    If Winter Comes A.S.M. Hutchinson
  • They had made, Ted Hunter announced, a very short mystery reel which they would now run as a curtain-raiser to the main event.

    Hour of Enchantment Roy J. Snell
  • He almost wished he had not followed the curtain-raiser with his own stronger drama.

    The Big Bow Mystery I. Zangwill
  • On the first night performance of "The Alcade," she played in a curtain-raiser, "Bertram."

    Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A -- Z Anatole Cerfberr and Jules Franois Christophe
  • Maybe you could make a one-act tragedy out of it for a curtain-raiser.

  • There was no curtain-raiser, and the first act was well constructed and interesting from the commencement.

    The House by the Lock C. N. Williamson
  • But if you don't know how easy it is, it looks like a curtain-raiser for manslaughter.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • It is my opinion that your part in the affair is only a curtain-raiser to graver things.

    The Puppet Crown Harold MacGrath
British Dictionary definitions for curtain-raiser


(theatre) a short dramatic piece presented before the main play
any preliminary event: the debate was a curtain-raiser to the election
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with curtain-raiser

curtain raiser

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.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for curtain raiser

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for curtain

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for curtain-raiser