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Patterned after sequel using pre- (before).


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɹiːkwəl/
  • (file)


prequel (plural prequels)

  1. (narratology) In a series of works, an installment that is set chronologically before its predecessor, especially the original narrative or (perhaps improper usage) any narrative work with at least one sequel.
    • 1980, Patrick Robertson, Movie Facts and Feats: A Guinness Record Book, New York: Sterling Publishing, p. 43:
      'Prequels' are sequels that relate the story that preceded the original film.
    • 2008, 26 February, Andrew Pierce, "JRR Tolkien's estate to sue Lord of the Rings filmmakers New Line Cinema over profits, in The Daily Telegraph
      They are also threatening to block the production of the long-awaited prequel, The Hobbit, which may now be cancelled.

Usage notes[edit]

Most often used, not as a direct antonym of sequel, to refer to earlier works in a series, but to refer to works that are chronologically before but are created and released after; an archetypal example is the Star Wars prequel trilogy.


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