• WordNet 3.6
    • n prolusion exercising in preparation for strenuous activity
    • n prolusion a short introductory essay preceding the text of a book
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Prolusion A trial before the principal performance; a prelude; hence, an introductory essay or exercise. "Domestic prolusions .""Her presence was in some measure a restraint on the worthy divine, whose prolusion lasted."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n prolusion A prelude to a game, performance, or entertainment; hence, a prelude, introduction, or preliminary in general.
    • n prolusion An essay or preparatory exercise in which the writer tries his own strength, or throws out some preliminary remarks on a subject which he intends to treat more profoundly.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Prolusion prō-lū′zhun a prelude, introduction: an essay preparatory to a more solid treatise.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. prolusio, fr. proludere, to prelude; pro, before + ludere, to play: cf. F. prolusion, It. prolusione,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L.,—pro, before, ludĕre, lusum, to play.


In literature:

What had the Guardian of the Lizards to do with clubs of tall or of little men, with nests of ants, or with Strada's prolusions?
"Lives of the Poets: Addison, Savage, and Swift" by Samuel Johnson
See Famiani Stradae Prolus.
"A New System; or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology. Volume II. (of VI.)" by Jacob Bryant
Capell reprinted it in his 'Prolusions' in 1760, and described it as 'thought to be writ by Shakespeare.
"A Life of William Shakespeare with portraits and facsimiles" by Sidney Lee