- 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.
- an orchestral composition forming the prelude or introduction to an opera, oratorio, etc.
- an independent piece of similar character.
- an introductory part, as of a poem; prelude; prologue.
- (in Presbyterian churches)
- the action of an ecclesiastical court in submitting a question or proposal to presbyteries.
- the proposal or question so submitted.
- to submit as an overture or proposal: to overture conditions for a ceasefire.
- to make an overture or proposal to: to overture one's adversary through a neutral party.
Origin of overture
SynonymsSee more synonyms for overture on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for overture
And the opening ballet between the overture and "Runyonland" wasn't working; it was out, it was back in, it was out again.New York’s Greatest Show Or How They Did Not Screw Up ‘Guys and Dolls’
April 6, 2014
Encouragingly, it seems the group was actually rewarded for this overture.A Watershed Week For Jerusalem’s Women
May 10, 2013
Bob Woodward's scoop today about Roger Ailes's overture to David Petraeus is well worth your time.Ailes and Petraeus
December 4, 2012
Wicoff adds, “Sometimes the people with the most unassailable credits as a conservative can be the ones to make the overture.”Pat Lykos: Texas' Capital Punishment Avenger
April 4, 2011
The New York Times: On the World Stage, Obama Issues an Overture Portrait of the president as a young statesman.How'd Obama Do at the G-20?
The Daily Beast
April 3, 2009
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
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
- 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
- a similar piece preceding the performance of a play
- Also called: concert overturea one-movement orchestral piece, usually having a descriptive or evocative title
- a short piece in three movements (French overture or Italian overture) common in the 17th and 18th centuries
- (often plural) a proposal, act, or gesture initiating a relationship, negotiation, etc
- something that introduces what follows
- to make or present an overture to
- to introduce with an overture
Word Origin and History for overture
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.