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A prelude or introduction.

[Latin praelūsiō, praelūsiōn-, from praelūsus, past participle of praelūdere, to play beforehand; see prelude.]

pre·lu′sive (-sĭv) adj.
pre·lu′sive·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(prɪˈlu sɪv)

also pre•lu•so•ry

(-sə ri)

[1595–1605; < Latin praelūs(us), past participle of praelūdere (see prelude) + -ive]
pre•lu′sive•ly, pre•lu′so•ri•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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On the grim Pequod's forecastle, ye shall ere long see him, beating his tambourine; prelusive of the eternal time, when sent for, to the great quarter-deck on high, he was bid strike in with angels, and beat his tambourine in glory; called a coward here, hailed a hero there!
Hepzibah involuntarily thought of the ghostly harmonies, prelusive of death in the family, which were attributed to the legendary Alice.