Pre"lude (?), n. [F. pr'elude (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 Aenis 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.


© Webster 1913.

Pre*lude" (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Preluded; p. pr. & vb. n. Preluding.] [L. praeludere, praelusum; prae before + ludere to play: cf. F. pr'eluder. 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 1913.

Pre*lude", v. t.


To introduce with a previous performance; to play or perform a prelude to; as, to prelude a concert with a lively air.


To serve as prelude to; to precede as introductory.

[Music] preluding some great tragedy. Longfellow


© Webster 1913.