curtain raiser


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

Origin of curtain raiser

First recorded in 1885–90 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for curtain-raiser

Historical Examples of curtain-raiser

  • But if you don't know how easy it is, it looks like a curtain-raiser for manslaughter.

    Shorty McCabe

    Sewell Ford

  • This, to be sure, is only the curtain-raiser to the pleasures to follow.


    Christopher Morley

  • But its curtain-raiser, Dusk, is to be retained for the revival of Magic.

  • Maybe you could make a one-act tragedy out of it for a curtain-raiser.

  • He almost wished he had not followed the curtain-raiser with his own stronger drama.

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

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.