or pro·log

[ proh-lawg, -log ]
/ ˈproʊ lɔg, -lɒg /


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



pro·logu·ist, pro·log·ist, nounpro·logue·like, pro·log·like, adjectiveun·pro·logued, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for 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 (1 of 2)



/ (ˈprəʊlɒɡ) /


a computer programming language based on mathematical logic

Word Origin for PROLOG

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

British Dictionary definitions for prolog (2 of 2)


often US prolog

/ (ˈprəʊlɒɡ) /


  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