noun over·ture \ˈō-və(r)-ˌchr, -chər, -ˌtyr, -ˌtr\

: a piece of music played at the start of an opera, a musical play, etc.

: something that is offered or suggested with the hope that it will start a relationship, lead to an agreement, etc.

: the first part of an event : the beginning of something

Full Definition of OVERTURE

a :  an initiative toward agreement or action :  proposal
b :  something introductory :  prelude
a :  the orchestral introduction to a musical dramatic work
b :  an orchestral concert piece written especially as a single movement in sonata form

Examples of OVERTURE

  1. The government has made a significant peace overture by opening the door to negotiation.
  2. <the parade down Main Street served as the overture for a weekend of fun and festivities>

Origin of OVERTURE

Middle English, literally, opening, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *opertura, alteration of Latin apertura — more at aperture
First Known Use: 15th century

Related to OVERTURE

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue



Definition of OVERTURE

transitive verb
:  to put forward as an overture
:  to make or present an overture to

First Known Use of OVERTURE

circa 1650
OVERTURING Defined for Kids


noun over·ture \ˈō-vər-ˌchr\

Definition of OVERTURE for Kids

:  something first offered or suggested with the hope of reaching an agreement <Old enemies made overtures of peace.>
:  a piece of music played at the beginning of an opera or musical play


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