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curtain raiser

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noun

a short play preceding a main play.
any preliminary event or performance.

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Origin of curtain raiser

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for curtain raiser

curtain-raiser

noun

theatre a short dramatic piece presented before the main play
any preliminary eventthe debate was a curtain-raiser to the election
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with curtain raiser

curtain raiser

Preliminary event, as in This limited attack on the chairman is just a curtain raiser for the concerted effort to oust him. This term literally refers to a short play or skit presented before the main theatrical production. It began to be transferred to other preliminaries about 1940.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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