Definition of prelude noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpreljuːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpreljuːd//
    Pieces of music
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  1. 1 a short piece of music, especially an introduction to a longer piece the prelude to Act II J S Bach’s preludes and fugues See related entries: Pieces of music
  2. 2prelude (to something) an action or event that happens before another more important one and forms an introduction to it
  3. Word Originmid 16th cent.: from French prélude, from medieval Latin praeludium, from Latin praeludere ‘play beforehand’, from prae ‘before’ + ludere ‘to play’.Extra examples ‘The Magnificat’ opens with a long organ prelude. Every life is but a prelude to a death. He considered the strikes a prelude to the great socialist revolution. The theme recalls the prelude to Wagner’s ‘Lohengrin’. This analysis will serve as a prelude to a more extended examination. This is just a prelude to a larger attack. a necessary prelude to privatization events held as a prelude to the Christmas festivities seven preludes for piano the fear that any peace was merely a prelude to war the opening orchestral prelude the orchestral prelude to the cantata the prelude for the battles ahead
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: prelude