Definition of prelude
1 : an introductory performance, action, or event preceding and preparing for the principal or a more important matter
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
an eruption of sectarian violence that proved to be the prelude to all-out civil war
the musical had a brief prelude to get the audience in the proper mood
Recent Examples of prelude from the Web
Such investigations are often the prelude to a whitewash.
On Monday in Miami, as a prelude to the All-Star Game the next night, a parade of major leaguers will step to the plate, swing hard and try to lift baseballs into the seats.
But it is designed as a prelude to talks that would consider both American interests in denuclearization and North Korea’s proposal for a peace regime that would replace the Korean War armistice.
Shocked but stalwart, Sams pulled out his NDA as a prelude to getting down to business.
The daylong event was a prelude to a more extensive program being planned for 2018.
Business, hoping to avoid getting slammed by Brexit’s full impact in 2019, is making a fresh push for a lengthy transition (enraging the Tory hard-liners, who see it as a prelude to betraying the referendum mandate).
But the compilation was just a prelude to her masterwork.
The market is both the best way to wind down the week or the perfect prelude to One Fine Day in the town.
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.
Definition of prelude
1 : to serve as a prelude to
2 : to play as a prelude
: to give or serve as a prelude; especially : to play a musical introduction
First Known Use of prelude
PRELUDE Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of prelude for Students
1 : something that comes before and prepares for the main or more important parts
2 : a short piece of music played at the beginning of something (as an opera or church service)
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