overture

noun
over·​ture | \ ˈō-vər-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce overture (audio) , ˈō-və-, -chər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r\

Definition of overture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an initiative toward agreement or action : proposal
b : something introductory : prelude
2a : the orchestral introduction to a musical dramatic work
b : an orchestral concert piece written especially as a single movement in sonata form

overture

verb
overtured; overturing

Definition of overture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put forward as an overture
2 : to make or present an overture to

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of overture in a Sentence

Noun

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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

If the overtures to Kennedy from the White House were subtle, the warnings from its allies were blunt. Adam Liptak And Maggie Haberman, BostonGlobe.com, "How the White House quietly worked to get Justice Kennedy to move aside," 29 June 2018 The overture is especially important because Germany is Mr. Macron’s most essential ally in pursuing a new course for the EU. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "Charlemagne to the Rescue," 22 June 2018 The tuneful score adds to the fun (though strangely for a children’s show, the overture is long enough to come from the golden age of Rodgers & Hammerstein). Matthew J. Palm, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Review: Buggin' Out: A Small Musical - Fringe 2018," 14 May 2018 But the overtures from Veselnitskaya and Agalarov are the first indication that the same Russians were still pushing to change the sanctions law after Trump was elected. Jeremy Herb, CNN, "Russians reached out to Trump team about Magnitsky Act sanctions after election, Democrats say," 27 Apr. 2018 Critics say Kim’s overture is an attempt to use improved ties with South Korea to weaken U.S.-led international sanctions on North Korea while buying time to perfect his nuclear weapons program. Time, "North Korea Is Sending 230 Cheerleaders to the 2018 Winter Olympics," 17 Jan. 2018 North Korea’s overtures are tactical, reckons Robert Kelly, of Pusan National University in South Korea. The Economist, "Games amid the frostThe two Koreas are talking again, but don’t expect much progress," 11 Jan. 2018 Microsoft may have been hedging its bets against an upstart competitor, but Netscape saw the overture as an intimidation tactic. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Later, Navigator: How Netscape Won and Then Lost the World Wide Web," 4 Apr. 2019 Breakup Fee Murdoch, 87, also wasn’t swayed by Comcast’s overtures partly because the cable company didn’t offer a breakup fee. Fortune, "Comcast Offers $65 Billion for Fox in Bidding War With Disney," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of overture

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for overture

Noun

Middle English, literally, opening, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *opertura, alteration of Latin apertura — more at aperture

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overture

Statistics for overture

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overture

The first known use of overture was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overture

overture

noun

English Language Learners Definition of overture

: 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

overture

noun
over·​ture | \ ˈō-vər-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce overture (audio) \

Kids Definition of overture

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on overture

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overture

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overture

Spanish Central: Translation of overture

Nglish: Translation of overture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about overture

Comments on overture

What made you want to look up overture? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!