prologue

[proh-lawg, -log]
noun
1.
a preliminary discourse; a preface or introductory part of a discourse, poem, or novel.
2.
an introductory speech, often in verse, calling attention to the theme of a play.
3.
the actor or actress who delivers this.
4.
an introductory scene, preceding the first act of a play, opera, etc.
5.
any introductory proceeding, event, etc.: Appetizing delicacies were the prologue to a long dinner.
verb (used with object), prologued, prologuing.
6.
to introduce with or as if with a prologue.
Also, prolog.


Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English prologe, prologue (< Old French prologue) < Latin prōlogus < Greek prólogos. See pro-2, -logue

prologuist, prologist, noun
prologuelike, prologlike, adjective
unprologued, adjective


5. preamble; beginning, opening; prelude.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prologue or often (US) prolog (ˈprəʊlɒɡ)
 
n
1.  a.  the prefatory lines introducing a play or speech
 b.  the actor speaking these lines
2.  a preliminary act or event
3.  in early opera
 a.  an introductory scene in which a narrator summarizes the main action of the work
 b.  a brief independent play preceding the opera, esp one in honour of a patron
 
vb , -logues, -loguing, -logued, -logs, -loging, -loged
4.  (tr) to introduce or preface with or as if with a prologue
 
[C13: from Latin prologus, from Greek prologos, from pro-² + logos discourse]
 
prolog or often (US) prolog
 
n
 
vb
 
[C13: from Latin prologus, from Greek prologos, from pro-² + logos discourse]

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

prologue
c.1300, from O.Fr. prologue (c.1215), from L. prologus, from Gk. prologos "prologue of a play, speaker of a prologue," lit. "a speech beforehand," from pro- "before" + logos "discourse, speech," from legein "to speak" (see lecture).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

prologue

prefatory and supplementary pieces to a literary work, especially a verse drama. The ancient Greek prologos was of wider significance than the modern prologue, effectually taking the place of an explanatory first act. A character, often a deity, appeared on the empty stage to explain events prior to the action of the drama, which consisted mainly of a catastrophe. On the Latin stage, the prologue was generally more elaborately written, as in the case of Plautus' Rudens, which contains some of his finest poetry.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
However, even ignoring the possibility of a bad technology bet, if history is prologue things don't look good.
But in any serious narrative, the dark chapters are merely prologue to new births of freedom, peace and prosperity.
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