- The definition of a prelude is something that serves as an introduction.
- The opening introduction before a literary work begins is an example of the prelude.
- The romantic overtures that a person makes leading up to a kiss are an example of a prelude.
- anything serving as the introduction to a principal event, action, performance, etc.; preliminary part; preface; opening
- an introductory instrumental composition, such as the first movement of a suite or the overture to an opera
- since the 19th cent., any short, romantic composition
Origin of preludeFrench prélude ; from Medieval Latin praeludium ; from Classical Latin praeludere, to play beforehand ; from prae-, pre- + ludere, to play ; from ludus: see ludicrous
- An introductory performance, event, or action preceding a more important one; a preliminary or preface.
- Music a. A piece or movement that serves as an introduction to another section or composition and establishes the key, such as one that precedes a fugue, opens a suite, or precedes a church service.b. A similar but independent composition for the piano.c. The overture to an oratorio, opera, or act of an opera.d. A short composition of the 1400s and early 1500s written in a free style, usually for keyboard.
verbprel·ud·ed, prel·ud·ing, prel·udes
- To serve as a prelude to.
- To introduce with or as if with a prelude.
Origin of preludeMedieval Latin praelūdium, from Latin praelūdere, to play beforehand : prae-, pre- + lūdere, to play; see leid- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present preludes, present participle preluding, simple past and past participle preluded)
- To introduce something, as a prelude.
- To play an introduction or prelude; to give a prefatory performance.