pre·​quel | \ ˈprē-kwəl \

Definition of prequel

: a work (such as a novel or a play) whose story precedes that of an earlier work

Examples of prequel in a Sentence

His next film will be a prequel to last year's hit movie.

Recent Examples on the Web

The fantasy film reimagines the stars of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland as siblings in a prequel to both iconic stories. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie Is Blonde Again," 17 Oct. 2018 In the prequel to the Harry Potter series, Voldemort's snake/horcrux is actually revealed to be a maledictus, a human woman with a blood curse that eventually turns her into the serpent. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "J.K. Rowling Chimed in on "Fantastic Beasts" Casting Criticism Over Claudia Kim as Nagini," 27 Sep. 2018 On the more far-fetched end of the spectrum, The Sun reported that Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequel trilogy, would secretly film scenes for Episode IX, though the rumor has yet to be confirmed. Adam Schubak, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About Star Wars Episode IX," 17 Sep. 2018 The very cool helmeted bounty hunter of the original Star Wars trilogy got a backstory in the prequels, thus losing some of his mysterious presence. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Going 'Solo': Here are 5 more characters who need their own 'Star Wars' spinoffs," 29 May 2018 Many thought Darth Maul should have been the villain in multiple prequels, but for Anakin Skywalker to become Darth Vader, an opening had to made in the Sith apprentice role. David Betancourt,, "The hero in a possible 'Solo' sequel could be the villain," 29 May 2018 And there have been a lot of them, including a '90s trilogy of Bounty Hunter Wars novels by K.W. Jeter and a six-part young-adult series that took place between Episodes II and III of the prequel trilogy. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Boba Fett joins the insane pile of upcoming Star Wars film projects," 25 May 2018 With Episode IX yet to begin production, the next couple of novels will focus on the prequel era. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Books about Padme and another about Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn," 20 July 2018 The exact nature of the plot of each project has been kept under tight wraps, though Martin has previously made clear that each project is a prequel rather than a spinoff and that none of the current main cast of the series will be involved. Joe Otterson,, "'Game of Thrones' prequel series gets pilot order with showrunner Jane Goldman," 8 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of prequel

1958, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prequel

pre- + -quel (as in sequel)

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Statistics for prequel

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for prequel

The first known use of prequel was in 1958

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English Language Learners Definition of prequel

: a movie, book, etc., that tells the part of a story that happened before the story in another movie, book, etc.

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More from Merriam-Webster on prequel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prequel

Britannica English: Translation of prequel for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about prequel

Comments on prequel

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


to gather or build up little by little

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