1

prelude

play
noun pre·lude \ˈprel-ˌyüd, ˈprāl-; ˈpre-ˌlüd, ˈprā-; sense 1 also ˈprē-ˌlüd\

Definition of prelude

  1. 1 :  an introductory performance, action, or event preceding and preparing for the principal or a more important matter

  2. 2a :  a musical section or movement introducing the theme or chief subject (as of a fugue or suite) or serving as an introduction to an opera or oratoriob :  an opening voluntaryc :  a separate concert piece usually for piano or orchestra and based entirely on a short motif

Examples of prelude in a Sentence

  1. an eruption of sectarian violence that proved to be the prelude to all-out civil war

  2. the musical had a brief prelude to get the audience in the proper mood

Recent Examples of prelude from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of prelude

Middle French, from Medieval Latin praeludium, from Latin praeludere to play beforehand, from prae- + ludere to play — more at ludicrous


2

prelude

verb pre·lude

Definition of prelude

preluded

;

preluding

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to serve as a prelude to

  3. 2 :  to play as a prelude

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to give or serve as a prelude; especially :  to play a musical introduction

preluder

noun

First Known Use of prelude

1632


PRELUDE Defined for English Language Learners

prelude

play
noun

Definition of prelude for English Language Learners

  • : something that comes before and leads to something else

  • : a short piece of music that introduces a longer piece


PRELUDE Defined for Kids

prelude

play
noun pre·lude \ˈprel-ˌyüd, ˈprā-ˌlüd\

Definition of prelude for Students

  1. 1 :  something that comes before and prepares for the main or more important parts

  2. 2 :  a short piece of music played at the beginning of something (as an opera or church service)



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