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From Old French, from Latin prologus, from Ancient Greek πρόλογος ‎(prólogos)


prologue ‎(plural prologues)

  1. A speech or section used as an introduction, especially to a play or novel.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, The Lisson Grove Mystery[1]:
      “H'm !” he said, “so, so—it is a tragedy in a prologue and three acts. I am going down this afternoon to see the curtain fall for the third time on what [...] will prove a good burlesque ; but it all began dramatically enough. It was last Saturday […] that two boys, playing in the little spinney just outside Wembley Park Station, came across three large parcels done up in American cloth. […]”
  2. One who delivers a prologue.
  3. (computing) A component of a computer program that prepares the computer to execute a routine.


Derived terms[edit]



prologue ‎(third-person singular simple present prologues, present participle prologuing, simple past and past participle prologued)

  1. To introduce with a formal preface, or prologue.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)


  • prologue” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).