overture

[oh-ver-cher, -choo r]
See more synonyms for overture on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. an opening or initiating move toward negotiations, a new relationship, an agreement, etc.; a formal or informal proposal or offer: overtures of peace; a shy man who rarely made overtures of friendship.
  2. Music.
    1. an orchestral composition forming the prelude or introduction to an opera, oratorio, etc.
    2. an independent piece of similar character.
  3. an introductory part, as of a poem; prelude; prologue.
  4. (in Presbyterian churches)
    1. the action of an ecclesiastical court in submitting a question or proposal to presbyteries.
    2. the proposal or question so submitted.
verb (used with object), o·ver·tured, o·ver·tur·ing.
  1. to submit as an overture or proposal: to overture conditions for a ceasefire.
  2. to make an overture or proposal to: to overture one's adversary through a neutral party.

Origin of overture

1300–50; Middle English < Old French; see overt, -ure; doublet of aperture

Synonyms for overture

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. See proposal.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for overture

Contemporary Examples of overture

Historical Examples of overture

  • It was the overture to this work which caused so much difficulty to Corelli.

    Handel

    Edward J. Dent

  • But it was only the beginning of the overture, and she sat down laughing.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • Arlt's overture was to have its first hearing, the week before Thanksgiving.

    The Dominant Strain

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • They were in their places just a few moments before the overture was played.

    Victor's Triumph

    Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

  • He has nothing but the piano concerto, an overture he wrote in Germany, and some songs.

    Melomaniacs

    James Huneker


British Dictionary definitions for overture

overture

noun
  1. music
    1. a piece of orchestral music containing contrasting sections that is played at the beginning of an opera or oratorio, often containing the main musical themes of the work
    2. a similar piece preceding the performance of a play
    3. Also called: concert overturea one-movement orchestral piece, usually having a descriptive or evocative title
    4. a short piece in three movements (French overture or Italian overture) common in the 17th and 18th centuries
  2. (often plural) a proposal, act, or gesture initiating a relationship, negotiation, etc
  3. something that introduces what follows
verb (tr)
  1. to make or present an overture to
  2. to introduce with an overture

Word Origin for overture

C14: via Old French, from Late Latin apertūra opening, from Latin aperīre to open; see overt
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

Word Origin and History for overture
n.

mid-13c., "opening, aperture;" early 15c. as "an introductory proposal," from Old French overture "opening; proposal" (Modern French ouverture), from Latin apertura "opening," from aperire "to open, uncover" (see overt). Orchestral sense first recorded in English 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

overture in Culture

overture

A piece of music for instruments alone, written as an introduction to a longer work, such as an opera, an oratorio, or a musical comedy.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.