Webster 1913 Edition
praeludium), fr. L.
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
preludeto the Aenis
The cause is more than the
prelude, the effect is more than the sequel, of the fact.
Syn. – Preface; introduction; preliminary; preamble; forerunner; harbinger; precursor.
imp. & p. p.
p. pr. & vb. n.
ludereto play: cf. F.
To play an introduction or prelude; to give a prefatory performance; to serve as prelude.
preludedon their instruments.
Sir. W. Scott.
preludingtoo largely, and must come at once to the point.
To introduce with a previous performance; to play or perform a prelude to;
preludea concert with a lively air
To serve as prelude to; to precede as introductory.
preludingsome great tragedy.
Webster 1828 Edition
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.
- prælude (archaic)
prelude (plural preludes)
- An introductory or preliminary performance or event; a preface.
- (music) A short piece of music that acts as an introduction to a longer piece.
short piece of music
prelude (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.
- Sir Walter Scott
- The musicians preluded on their instruments.
- We are preluding too largely, and must come at once to the point.
- Sir Walter Scott
- “prelude” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).