American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Music An instrumental composition intended especially as an introduction to an extended work, such as an opera or oratorio.
- n. Music A similar orchestral work intended for independent concert performance.
- n. An introductory section or part, as of a poem; a prelude.
- n. An act, offer, or proposal that indicates readiness to undertake a course of action or open a relationship.
- v. To present as an introduction or proposal.
- v. To present or make an offer or proposal to.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An opening; an aperture; a hole.
- n. An open place.
- n. Opening; disclosure; discovery.
- n. In music, an orchestral movement properly serving as a prelude or introduction to an extended work, as an opera or oratorio. Its form varies from a brief flourish to a medley of melodies or themes extracted from the body of the work, or to a composition of independent form complete in itself. In some cases overtures are divided into two or more sections or movements, resembling those of a suite or a symphony, each modeled upon some dance form, the Sonata form, the fugue form, etc.; but they are more frequently in a single continuous movement. Many veritable overtures being successfully used as concert pieces, it is now customary to give the name to detached works for orchestra which are intended simply for concert use, though in such cases a special title is usually given to the composition.
- n. Something offered to open the way to some conclusion; something proposed for acceptance or rejection; a proposal: as, to make overtures of peace.
- n. Specifically Eccles., in Presbyterian church law, a formal proposal submitted to an ecclesiastical court. An overture may proceed either from an inferior court or from one or more members of the court to which it is presented. In the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (as in the supreme courts of most Presbyterian churches) legislative action is initiated by adopting an overture and sending it to presbyteries for their consideration. See the quotation.
- n. Synonyms Proposition, etc. See proposal.
- Eccles., to submit an overture to. See overture, n., 6.
GNU Webster's 1913
- obsolete An opening or aperture; a recess; a chamber.
- obsolete Disclosure; discovery; revelation.
- A proposal; an offer; a proposition formally submitted for consideration, acceptance, or rejection.
- (Mus.) A composition, for a full orchestra, designed as an introduction to an oratorio, opera, or ballet, or as an independent piece; -- called in the latter case a concert overture.
- v. To make an overture to.
- n. a tentative suggestion designed to elicit the reactions of others
- n. orchestral music played at the beginning of an opera or oratorio
- n. something that serves as a preceding event or introduces what follows
- From Anglo-Norman, Middle French overture, from Old French overture. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, opening, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *ōpertūra, alteration (influenced by Latin cōperīre, to cover) of Latin apertūra, from apertus, past participle of aperīre, to open. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“William Tell overture is not "from the soundtrack for A Clockwork Orange", it is a piece of classical music composed by Rossini.”
“Whether Syria's peace overture is rhetorical or real, there is no better time to put Damascus to the test.”
“By the 18th century, composers were calling the overture to an opera, or an oratorio, the "sinfonia".”
“This overture is still old politics, which some will embrace whole heartedly.”
“Seligman likes charm a lot, I'm glad to say, and he knows well enough that this cunning overture is politely blind to the fact that neither of his ladies asked to have this contest arranged.”
“ZAHN: Is that something the U.S. would welcome, this overture from the Germans?”
“The "overture" - the missionary's initial bonding with Muslims via discussion of the Koran - is precision-engineered to undermine their allegiance to Islam.”
“Although thick with irony -- President Reagan first proposed a missile shield in 1983 as a safeguard against the Soviets -- the overture was a clear attempt to ease Kremlin concerns that the antimissile system is targeted at Russia.”
“ What people might not realize when they hear the overture, which is so very famous, is that Tchaikovsky cut the legs of the orchestra off, " he said.”
“A popular choice is to start a concert with a short "curtain-raiser," such as an overture, which is often followed by a concerto with a star soloist, and then after an intermission, the "large" symphonic piece is played.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘overture’.
A complete Barron's Wordlist for GRE preparation. Your online flashcard replacement.
Words only (I left out the expressions) from Geza Kerenyi's EN-HU interpreters' dictionary. Most of them pose some difficulty when interpreted between HU and EN in either or both directions.
above; upper; superior; eminent
Words as I learn them.
Nouns meaning preface
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