prelude

[prel-yood, preyl-, prey-lood, pree-]
noun
1.
a preliminary to an action, event, condition, or work of broader scope and higher importance.
2.
any action, event, comment, etc. that precedes something else.
3.
Music.
a.
a relatively short, independent instrumental composition, free in form and resembling an improvisation.
b.
a piece that precedes a more important movement.
c.
the overture to an opera.
d.
an independent piece, of moderate length, sometimes used as an introduction to a fugue.
e.
music opening a church service; an introductory voluntary.
verb (used with object), preluded, preluding.
4.
to serve as a prelude or introduction to.
5.
to introduce by a prelude.
6.
to play as a prelude.
verb (used without object), preluded, preluding.
7.
to serve as a prelude.
8.
to give a prelude.
9.
to play a prelude.

Origin:
1555–65; (noun) < Medieval Latin praelūdium, equivalent to prae- pre- + -lūdium play; compare Latin lūdus play; (v.) < Latin praelūdere to play beforehand

preluder, noun
preludial [pri-loo-dee-uhl] , preludious, adjective
preludiously, adverb
unpreluded, adjective


1. introduction, opening, beginning.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prelude (ˈprɛljuːd)
 
n
1.  a.  a piece of music that precedes a fugue, or forms the first movement of a suite, or an introduction to an act in an opera, etc
 b.  (esp for piano) a self-contained piece of music
2.  something serving as an introduction or preceding event, occurrence, etc
 
vb
3.  to serve as a prelude to (something)
4.  (tr) to introduce by a prelude
 
[C16: (n) from Medieval Latin praelūdium, from prae before + -lūdium entertainment, from Latin lūdus play; (vb) from Late Latin praelūdere to play beforehand, rehearse, from lūdere to play]
 
preluder
 
n
 
pre'ludial
 
adj
 
prelusion
 
n
 
prelusive
 
adj
 
prelusory
 
adj
 
pre'lusively
 
adv
 
pre'lusorily
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

prelude
1561, from M.Fr. prélude "notes sung or played to test the voice or instrument" (1532), from M.L. preludium "prelude, preliminary," from L. præludere "to play beforehand for practice, preface," from præ- "before" + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Purely
musical sense first attested in Eng. 1658.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But as I now know, landing the job is only a prelude to the real prize.
Anyways, it was fun, hopefully a prelude of things to come on Friday.
But it offers not peace, only the prelude to a peace.
It was the prelude to scandalous waste and corruption.
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