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lead-up

[leed-uhp]
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noun
  1. something that provides an approach to or preparation for an event or situation.
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Origin of lead-up

1950–55; noun use of verb phrase lead up (to)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for lead-up

n.

1917, from lead (v.1) + up (adv.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper