Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[pree-kwuh l] /ˈpri kwəl/
a literary, dramatic, or filmic work that prefigures a later work, as by portraying the same characters at a younger age.
1970-75; pre- + (se)quel Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for prequel
  • Too bad neither prequel nor sequel could logically bring them all together again.
  • It would also work well as a prequel to reading the novel.
  • We think the registered traveler program with frequent flyers is a good place to start, but that could also be a prequel.
  • Position design and descriptions, then, are a required prequel to recruitment.
  • The gentle pencil, watercolor and acrylic illustrations make this a perfectly cozy bedtime prequel.
British Dictionary definitions for prequel


a film or book about an earlier stage of a story or a character's life, released because the later part of it has already been successful
Word Origin
C20: from pre- + (se)quel
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
Word Origin and History for prequel

1973, from pre-, based on sequel (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for prequel



A book, episode, etc, that precedes an existing work in time •Not very precisely differentiated from flashback: what Hollywood calls a ''prequel,'' an adventure that takes place at the start of his career

[1973+; based on sequel]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for prequel

a literary or dramatic work whose story precedes that of an earlier-written work. For example, Lillian Hellman's play Another Part of the Forest (1946) portrays the earlier lives of the characters she first wrote about in The Little Foxes (1939).

Learn more about prequel with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for prequel

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for prequel

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for prequel