|Origin:||prélude, from Medieval Latin praeludium, from Latin praeludere 'to play before'|
if an event is a prelude to a more important event, it happens just before it and makes people expect it:
Living together as a prelude to marriage is now considered acceptable in many countries.
a short piece of music, especially one played at the beginning of a longer musical piece or before a church ceremony:
an organ prelude