Syn. — Introductory; preparatory; prefatory; proemial; previous; prior; precedent; antecedent.

(Pre*lim"i*na*ry), n.; pl. Preliminaries That which precedes the main discourse, work, design, or business; something introductory or preparatory; as, the preliminaries to a negotiation or duel; to take one's preliminaries the year before entering college.

Syn. — Introduction; preface; prelude.

(Pre*lim"it) v. t. To limit previously. [R.]

(Pre*look"), v. i. To look forward. [Obs.] Surrey.

(Pre"lude) n. [F. prélude (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 Ænis

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.

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

(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.
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