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prelude
/ 5prelju:d; `prZljud/ n 1 ~ (to sth) (a) action or event that happens before another larger or more important one and forms an introduction to it , : His frequent depressions were the prelude to a complete mental breakdown. , . * The bankruptcy of several small firms was the prelude to general economic collapse. , . * I'm afraid that these troubles are just a prelude, ie to worse ones. . (b) introductory part of a poem, etc : The lines form a prelude to his long narrative poem. . 2 (music ) (a) introductory movement coming before a fugue or forming the first part of a suite . (b) short piece of music of a similar type .
OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY posted at 2009-11-22 13:54:59
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