prelude to

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prelude to something

an act or event that comes before and signals another act or event. Her rudeness to her boss was a prelude to her resignation. The Munich Pact was a prelude to World War II.
References in classic literature ?
Hippolyte said to me, without any prelude, that the general had promised the widow four hundred roubles.
The perfect swarm of busily engaged persons moving about noiselessly; the multitude of guests, - who were, however, even less numerous than the servants who waited on them, - the myriad of exquisitely prepared dishes, of gold and silver vases; the floods of dazzling light, the masses of unknown flowers of which the hot-houses had been despoiled, redundant with luxuriance of unequaled scent and beauty; the perfect harmony of the surroundings, which, indeed, was no more than the prelude of the promised
Each case has been the prelude to another, and the crisis once over, the actors have passed for ever out of our busy lives.
Brilliant performance of prelude to the Judge's song in "Trial by Jury" by nervous Pianist.
All were silent, expectant of what was to follow, for this was dearly only a prelude.
In desperation he said the first thing he thought of, very peevishly and without the dignified prelude which he had intended.
In Wordsworth's prefatory advertisement to the first edition of The Prelude, published in 1850, it is stated that that work was intended to be introductory to The Recluse: and that The Recluse, if completed, would have consisted of three parts.
Cornelius was very uneasy about it, but it was after all only a prelude to greater anxieties.
The band had begun the prelude to the waltz, and Francis Aldersley was waiting for his partner.
Was this the prelude of her coming back to me in dreams; in her perfected womanhood, in the young prime of her life?
Was all his talk about the consciousness and intelligence of machines merely a prelude to eventual exhibition of this device--only a trick to intensify the effect of its mechanical action upon me in my ignorance of its secret?
In a few minutes he lifted his head, looked at me, and struck the first notes--the prelude to the song.
In one of his long poems called The Prelude, which is a history of his own young life, he tells of these happy childish hours.
a) After the prelude, which Pausanias failed to find in the ancient copy engraved on lead seen by him on Mt.
To admit that species generally become rare before they become extinct -- to feel no surprise at the comparative rarity of one species with another, and yet to call in some extraordinary agent and to marvel greatly when a species ceases to exist, appears to me much the same as to admit that sickness in the individual is the prelude to death -- to feel no surprise at sickness -- but when the sick man dies to wonder, and to believe that he died through violence.