The opening part of an oration, treatise, etc.
Webster's New World
The introduction to a paper or discourse.
Origin of Exordium
From Latin exōrdium (“beginning, commencement”), from exōrdior (“I begin, commence”), from ex (“out of, from”) + ōrdior (“I begin”).
Latin from exōrdīrī to begin ex- intensive pref. ex– ōrdīrī to begin ar- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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