wordswarm.net: free dictionary lookup
Wordswarms From Years Past

13-Letter Words
12-Letter Words
11-Letter Words
10-Letter Words
9-Letter Words
8-Letter Words
7-Letter Words
6-Letter Words
5-Letter Words
4-Letter Words
3-Letter Words

Adjacent Words

preliminary communications search
preliminary demolition target
preliminary exam
preliminary examination
preliminary prospectus
preload loading

Prelude definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

PRE'LUDE, n. [Low L. proeludium, from proeludo; proe, before, and ludo, to play.]
1. A short flight of music, or irregular air played by a musician before he begins the piece to be played, or before a full concert.
2. Something introductory or that shows what is to follow; something preceding which bears some relation or resemblance to that which is to follow.
The last Georgic was a good prelude to the Aeneis.
3. A forerunner; something which indicates a future event.
PRELU'DE, v.t. To introduce with a previous performance; to play before; as, to prelude a concert with a lively air.
1. To precede, as an introductory piece; as, a lively air preludes the concert.
PRELU'DE, v.i. To serve as an introduction to.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: something that serves as a preceding event or introduces what follows; "training is a necessary preliminary to employment"; "drinks were the overture to dinner" [syn: preliminary, overture, prelude]
2: music that precedes a fugue or introduces an act in an opera v
1: serve as a prelude or opening to
2: play as a prelude

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Etymology: Middle French, from Medieval Latin praeludium, from Latin praeludere to play beforehand, from prae- + ludere to play more at ludicrous Date: 1561 1. an introductory performance, action, or event preceding and preparing for the principal or a more important matter 2. a. a musical section or movement introducing the theme or chief subject (as of a fugue or suite) or serving as an introduction to an opera or oratorio b. an opening voluntary c. a separate concert piece usually for piano or orchestra and based entirely on a short motif II. verb (preluded; preluding) Date: 1655 transitive verb 1. to serve as a prelude to 2. to play as a prelude intransitive verb to give or serve as a prelude; especially to play a musical introduction preluder noun

Britannica Concise

Musical composition, usually brief, generally played as an introduction to another piece. The prelude originated as an organ genre, short pieces being traditionally improvised by the organist to establish the key of a following piece or to fill brief interludes in a church service. Their improvisatory origins were often reflected in rhythmic freedom and virtuosic runs. A section in this style would often lead to a closing fugal section; in time this turned into a separate movement, and preludes came to be paired with fugues. In the 17th cent., preludes began to be frequently written for lute or harpsichord. In later years the term came to be used for short piano pieces, often in sets, by such composers as F. Chopin, A. Scriabin, and C. Debussy. See also chorale prelude.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. & v. --n. (often foll. by to) 1 an action, event, or situation serving as an introduction. 2 the introductory part of a poem etc. 3 a an introductory piece of music, often preceding a fugue or forming the first piece of a suite or beginning an act of an opera. b a short piece of music of a similar type, esp. for the piano. --v.tr. 1 serve as a prelude to. 2 introduce with a prelude. Derivatives: preludial adj. Etymology: F prélude or med.L praeludium f. L praeludere praelus- (as PRAE-, ludere play)

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Prelude Pre*lude", v. i. [imp. & p. p. Preluded; p. pr. & vb. n. Preluding.] [L. praeludere, praelusum; prae before + ludere to play: cf. F. pr['e]luder. See Ludicrous.] To play an introduction or prelude; to give a prefatory performance; to serve as prelude. The musicians preluded on their instruments. --Sir. W. Scott. We are preluding too largely, and must come at once to the point. --Jeffrey.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Prelude Pre*lude", v. t. 1. To introduce with a previous performance; to play or perform a prelude to; as, to prelude a concert with a lively air. 2. To serve as prelude to; to precede as introductory. [Music] preluding some great tragedy. --Longfellow

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Prelude Pre"lude, n. [F. pr['e]lude (cf. It. preludio, LL. praeludium), fr. L. prae before + ludus play. See Prelude, v. t.] An introductory performance, preceding and preparing for the principal matter; a preliminary part, movement, strain, etc.; especially (Mus.), a strain introducing the theme or chief subject; a movement introductory to a fugue, yet independent; -- with recent composers often synonymous with overture. The last Georgic was a good prelude to the [AE]nis --Addison. The cause is more than the prelude, the effect is more than the sequel, of the fact. --Whewell. Syn: Preface; introduction; preliminary; preamble; forerunner; harbinger; precursor.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(preludes) 1. You can describe an event as a prelude to a more important event when it happens before it and acts as an introduction to it. Most unions see privatisation as an inevitable prelude to job losses... N-COUNT: usu sing, usu N to n 2. A prelude is a short piece of music for the piano or organ. ...the famous E minor prelude of Chopin. N-COUNT

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

n. Introduction, preparation, prelusion, preliminary, preface, preamble, proem, exordium. See prologue.

Moby Thesaurus

Vorspiel, antecedence, antecedency, anteposition, anteriority, avant-propos, breakthrough, concert overture, curtain raiser, descant, dominion, dramatic overture, exordium, foreword, front matter, front position, frontispiece, innovation, introduce, introduction, leap, operatic overture, overture, postulate, preamble, precedence, precedency, preceding, precession, precursor, preface, preference, prefix, prefixation, prefixture, preliminary, premise, presupposition, priority, proem, prolegomena, prolegomenon, prolepsis, prologize, prologue, protasis, prothesis, superiority, the lead, top priority, urgency, vamp, verse, voluntary

Wordswarm.net: Look up a word or phrase


wordswarm.net: free dictionary lookup