1An action or event serving as an introduction to something more important: a ceasefire had been agreed as a prelude to full peace negotiations
More example sentences
- A contest and talent hunt will be held as a prelude to the event.
- As a prelude to the main event, the team will walk the 25 km from Changi Prison to Tanjung Pagar Railway Station in Singapore.
- I think of Thanksgiving as a prelude to the big event of December and all the wonderful foods I will undoubtedly be consuming.
preliminary, overture, opening, preparation, introduction, start, beginning, curtain-raiser, lead-in, precursor, forerunner, harbinger, herald
2An introductory piece of music, most commonly an orchestral opening to an act of an opera, the first movement of a suite, or a piece preceding a fugue.
- His surviving output consists solely of instrumental music, including organ preludes and fugues, concertos for two harpsichords, and trio sonatas, much of it strongly influenced by Bach.
- From the opening orchestral prelude, the depth and intensity of Bloch's vision of the Old Testament roll over the listener.
- After the Brahms and the Haydn he learned three preludes and fugues of Bach, two Beethoven sonatas, a nocturne by Chopin, and pieces by Schumann and Ravel.
overture, introductory movement, introduction, opening, voluntary
2.1A short piece of music of a style similar to a prelude, especially for the piano.
- He's also found time to be the pianist on this unusual release, which includes seventeen of his short works for saxophone and twelve equally short preludes for piano.
- British composer Colin Matthews is orchestrating all 24 of Debussy's piano preludes, a project which many will find either foolhardy or sacrilegious.
- Accompanied by Debussy piano preludes interpreted by Steve Gosling, the dancers took wing, as though they were laughing through the air.
2.2The introductory part of a poem or other literary work.
- But the prelude tantalises in what it reveals, and represses.
- The unnamed mistress, of whom the first eight lines are prelude, is finally addressed, but not until line nine- ‘As I meet thee.’
introduction, preface, prologue, foreword, preamble
rare proem, exordium, prolegomenon, prodrome
Serve as a prelude or introduction to: the bombardment preluded an all-out final attack
More example sentences
- It was preluded by part of a different ballet called Ellipse, and I really liked those dances too.
- Each visit to her mother was preluded by a mental perfection check list - Kelly dressed in one of her grandmother's latest frou-frou proper girl dresses, which usually included lace or frills or both.
- When performed live this song was often preluded by descriptions of the harrowing experience many faced simply trying to find a tolerant and peaceful home, away from their places of birth.
- Example sentences
- This forty-minute work's four-movement structure opens with a preludial, expository movement which presents the basic material.
- A young Vixen, in this preludial scene played by a child, frisks in, startling a frog, who leaping to safety, lands on the forester's nose.
- If we could hear music only after an exhausting sequence of preludial actions I am sure it would suffer neglect.
Mid 16th century: from French prélude, from medieval Latin praeludium, from Latin praeludere 'play beforehand', from prae 'before' + ludere 'to play'.
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.