or pro·log

[proh-lawg, -log]


a preliminary discourse; a preface or introductory part of a discourse, poem, or novel.
an introductory speech, often in verse, calling attention to the theme of a play.
the actor or actress who delivers this.
an introductory scene, preceding the first act of a play, opera, etc.
any introductory proceeding, event, etc.: Appetizing delicacies were the prologue to a long dinner.

verb (used with object), pro·logued, pro·logu·ing.

to introduce with or as if with a prologue.

Origin of prologue

1250–1300; Middle English prologe, prologue (< Old French prologue) < Latin prōlogus < Greek prólogos. See pro-2, -logue
Related formspro·logu·ist, pro·log·ist, nounpro·logue·like, pro·log·like, adjectiveun·pro·logued, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for prolog

Historical Examples of prolog

  • And first of the Prolog of the first fyndyng, and interpretacioun of the said Buke out of diuerse langagis, etc.

  • The poem is relieved of all the episodes except the prolog and King Hrothgars discourse.

    The Translations of Beowulf

    Chauncey Brewster Tinker

  • It will be found that only two of the episodes are passed without mention—the Prolog and the Tale of Thrytho.

    The Translations of Beowulf

    Chauncey Brewster Tinker

British Dictionary definitions for prolog




a computer programming language based on mathematical logic

Word Origin for PROLOG

C20: from pro (gramming in) log (ic)


often US prolog


  1. the prefatory lines introducing a play or speech
  2. the actor speaking these lines
a preliminary act or event
(in early opera)
  1. an introductory scene in which a narrator summarizes the main action of the work
  2. a brief independent play preceding the opera, esp one in honour of a patron

verb -logues, -loguing or -logued or US -logs, -loging or -loged

(tr) to introduce or preface with or as if with a prologue

Word Origin for prologue

C13: from Latin prologus, from Greek prologos, from pro- ² + logos discourse
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 prolog



early 14c., from Old French prologue (12c.) and directly from Latin prologus, from Greek prologos "preface to a play, speaker of a prologue," literally "a speech beforehand," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + logos "discourse, speech," from legein "to speak" (see lecture (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper