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View synonyms for curtain raiser

curtain raiser

noun

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


curtain-raiser

noun

  1. theatre a short dramatic piece presented before the main play
  2. any preliminary event

    the debate was a curtain-raiser to the election



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Word History and Origins

Origin of curtain raiser1

First recorded in 1885–90
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Idioms and Phrases

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.
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Example Sentences

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.

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.

They had made, Ted Hunter announced, a very short mystery reel which they would now run as a curtain-raiser to the main event.

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Definitions and idiom definitions from Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from 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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