One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A prelude or introduction; a preliminary; a precursor or foreshadowing.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in John Foxe (?1517–1587), martyrologist. From post-classical Latin praeludium preliminary action (frequently 1175–1517 in British sources), prelude to a play or literary work, series of notes played before a piece of music from classical Latin praelūdere + -ium.
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