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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. 2023
How to use curtain raiser in a sentence
Well, I've got an old curtain-raiser here, but it doesn't seem to fit in somehow.
"I'll admit that the axe work was good as a curtain raiser," remarked Tom.Army Boys on the Firing Line|Homer Randall
This short curtain raiser being over, the first act of the drama began.
It is my opinion that your part in the affair is only a curtain-raiser to graver things.The Puppet Crown|Harold MacGrath
They had made, Ted Hunter announced, a very short mystery reel which they would now run as a curtain-raiser to the main event.Hour of Enchantment|Roy J. Snell
British Dictionary definitions for curtain raiser
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.