(redirected from prolusions)
Also found in: Thesaurus.


1. A preliminary exercise.
2. An essay written as a preface to a more detailed work.

[Latin prōlūsiō, prōlūsiōn-, from prōlūsus, past participle of prōlūdere, to practice beforehand : prō-, before; see pro-1 + lūdere, to play; see leid- in Indo-European roots.]

pro·lu′so·ry (-sə-rē, -zə-) adj.


1. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a preliminary written exercise
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) an introductory essay, sometimes of a slight or tentative nature
[C17: from Latin prōlūsiō preliminary exercise, from prōlūdere to practise beforehand, from pro-1 + lūdere to play]
prolusory adj


(proʊˈlu ʒən)

1. an essay or article preliminary to a more exhaustive work.
2. a prelude; any preliminary or introductory event.
[1595–1605; < Latin prōlūsiō rehearsal =prōlūd(ere) to rehearse, be a prelude to (prō- pro-1 + lūdere to play; compare prelude) + -tiō -tion]
pro•lu′so•ry (-sə ri, -zə-) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.prolusion - a short introductory essay preceding the text of a book
text, textual matter - the words of something written; "there were more than a thousand words of text"; "they handed out the printed text of the mayor's speech"; "he wants to reconstruct the original text"
introduction - the first section of a communication
2.prolusion - exercising in preparation for strenuous activityprolusion - exercising in preparation for strenuous activity
preparation, readying - the activity of putting or setting in order in advance of some act or purpose; "preparations for the ceremony had begun"
References in periodicals archive ?
The reasons for this are as much a matter of textual history as they are of political affiliation: despite the endeavours of Edward Capell in his edition of Edward III in 1760, as well as the claims expressed in his Prolusions; or, Select Pieces of Ancient Poetry (1760), few eighteenth-century editors of Shakespeare were inclined to include the originally anonymously published Edward III (1596) in the growing list of Bardic apocrypha.
(89) Edward Capell, ed., Prolusions; or, Select Pieces of Antient Poetry, pt.2; Edward the third, an historical Play (London, 1760).
Forsyth traces early signs of Milton's Protestant and anti-Royalist inclinations in some of his early works, among which his often unmentioned early tracts, the Prolusions, are also examined.
The impact of this experience is manifest in his edition, which deployed a bewildering array of "new-invented marks" to signal lines that are "spoke apart or aside," to show "a change of address," to indicate "a thing shown or pointed at" (Prolusions v-vi).
Clair that anthologies of classics--and one could also cite Edward Capell's Prolusions (1760), Elizabeth Cooper's The Muses Library (1738), some of the many Shakespeare editions, and even Thomas Warton's History of English Poetry, though the latter is not an anthology--cooperate explicitly in the shift from a religious to a secular conception of culture.
The general essay on the Silvae follows two lines of research, situating the poems within Poliziano's poetic oeuvre overall, and relating it to his other prolusions. The thrust of the humanist's poetry is seen to be metaliterary: poetry about poetry, but in a tone which has an ambiguous lightness about it and thus prevents one-sided interpretations (including the neoplatonic interpretation of the Stanze, a work which Bettinzoli terms 'il piu intricato e il piu insidioso dei labirinti polizianei').
The "societies of Virtuosi" or Academies, which "assume to themselves conceited or fanciful names" were, he thought, "for the most part prolusions of wit and rhetoric, or discourses about moral subjects." So too the public behaviour of the "inferiour gentry" who "affect to appear in publick with as much splendour as they can, and will deny themselves many satisfactions at home." This was so that they could "keep a coach, and therein make the tour a la mode about the streets of their city every evening."(53)
"American" speech or "Red Indian dialect" is the most barbarous, Milton declared in response to the dehumanized, abused native English tongue in Prolusions. (37)
Middle spirits are numerous in Milton's early writing, from "those beings which we call spirits and genii and daemons" (CPW 1:296) mentioned in the Prolusions, to the Attendant Spirit in A Masque who is one of "those immortal shapes / Of bright aerial spirits" which live not with Jove but "ensphered / In regions mild of calm and serene air" (A Masque 2-4).
Well before he entered on his wide-ranging publicist career in 1641, Milton had already demonstrated his impressive rhetorical talents in the group of seven academic exercises, or Prolusions, which he wrote in Latin for public declamation at Cambridge between 1625 and 1632, although they only emerged in print for the first time in 1674.