- 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.
prelude definition by Webster's New World
- 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: French prélude ; from Midieval Latin praeludium ; from Classical Latin praeludere, to play beforehand ; from prae-, pre- plush ludere, to play ; from ludus: see ludicrous
- preludial adjective
prelude definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- 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 15th and early 16th centuries written in a free style, usually for keyboard.
- To serve as a prelude to.
- To introduce with or as if with a prelude.
Origin: Medieval Latin praelūdium, from Latin praelūdere, to play beforehand : prae-, pre- + lūdere, to play; see leid- in Indo-European roots.
- prelˈudˌer noun
- pre·luˈdi·al adjective