[prel-yood, preyl-, prey-lood, pree-]


verb (used with object), prel·ud·ed, prel·ud·ing.

verb (used without object), prel·ud·ed, prel·ud·ing.

Origin of prelude

1555–65; (noun) < Medieval Latin praelūdium, equivalent to prae- pre- + -lūdium play; compare Latin lūdus play; (v.) < Latin praelūdere to play beforehand
Related formsprel·ud·er, nounpre·lu·di·al [pri-loo-dee-uhl] /prɪˈlu di əl/, pre·lu·di·ous, adjectivepre·lu·di·ous·ly, adverbun·prel·ud·ed, adjective

Synonyms for prelude Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for preluded

Historical Examples of preluded

  • The dawn had been preluded by the awakening chirrups of songsters in the wood.

    Across the Equator

    Thomas H. Reid

  • And Dennis recognised the short laugh that preluded the reply.

  • Suddenly he heard the long, rumbling sigh which preluded the chairman's speeches.

    Five Tales

    John Galsworthy

  • It was the only way in which I could account for the spasm which preluded that last fit of coughing.

    My Friend Smith

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • Selim preluded his campaign by an insolent letter to Shah Ismail.

British Dictionary definitions for preluded



  1. a piece of music that precedes a fugue, or forms the first movement of a suite, or an introduction to an act in an opera, etc
  2. (esp for piano) a self-contained piece of music
something serving as an introduction or preceding event, occurrence, etc


to serve as a prelude to (something)
(tr) to introduce by a prelude
Derived Formspreluder (prɪˈljuːdə, ˈprɛljʊdə), nounpreludial, adjectiveprelusion (prɪˈljuːʒən), nounprelusive (prɪˈljuːsɪv) or prelusory (prɪˈljuːsərɪ), adjectiveprelusively or prelusorily, adverb

Word Origin for prelude

C16: (n) from Medieval Latin praelūdium, from prae before + -lūdium entertainment, from Latin lūdus play; (vb) from Late Latin praelūdere to play beforehand, rehearse, from lūdere to play
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 preluded



1560s, from Middle French prélude "notes sung or played to test the voice or instrument" (1530s), from Medieval Latin preludium "prelude, preliminary," from Latin praeludere "to play beforehand for practice, preface," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Purely musical sense first attested in English 1650s. Related: Prelusion.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper