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curtain raiser

noun
1.
a short play preceding a main play.
2.
any preliminary event or performance.
Origin
1885-1890
1885-90
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for curtain-raiser

curtain-raiser

noun
1.
(theatre) a short dramatic piece presented before the main play
2.
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
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Idioms and Phrases with 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.
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Word of The Day

Difficulty index for curtain raiser

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for curtain

9
12
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Quotes with curtain-raiser