Definition of prologue
1 : the preface or introduction to a literary work
2a : a speech often in verse addressed to the audience by an actor at the beginning of a playb : the actor speaking such a prologue
3 : an introductory or preceding event or development
Examples of prologue in a sentence
the prologue to his autobiography
<unfortunately, the burglary, which he committed while still a teen, was but a prologue to a wasted life of crime>
Did You Know?
In ancient Greek drama, the prologos (a word that means basically "speaking before") was the opening portion of the play, before the entry of the all-important chorus. It might be spoken by a single actor, maybe playing a god, who would "set the scene" for the audience. Playwrights today instead often provide the same kind of "scene-setting" information through dialogue near the play's beginning; in movies, it may appear (as in the "Star Wars" series) in the form of actual written text. In a nonfiction book, the lead-in is now usually called a preface or introduction; novels rarely provide any introduction at all. Still, prologue remains a useful word for nonliterary purposes. The saying "The past is prologue" tells us that, in real life, almost everything can be a prologue to what follows it.
PROLOGUE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prologue for English Language Learners
: an introduction to a book, play, etc.
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