• (British) IPA: /ˈəʊvətjʊə/, /ˈəʊvətʃ(ʊ)ə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈoʊvəɹtʃəɹ/

overture (plural overtures)

  1. (obsolete) An opening; a recess or chamber. [15th-19th c.]
    • the cave's inmost overture
  2. (obsolete) Disclosure; discovery; revelation.
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene vii]:
      It was he / That made the overture of thy treasons to us.
  3. (often in plural) An approach or proposal made to initiate communication, establish a relationship etc. [from 15th c.]
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 20:
      My mother had no choice; one did not turn down such an overture from the regent.
  4. (Scotland) A motion placed before a legislative body, such as the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. [from 16th c.]
  5. (music) A musical introduction to a piece of music. [from 17th c.]
  • (opening of a piece of music) coda
Related terms Translations Translations Verb

overture (overtures, present participle overturing; past and past participle overtured)

  1. (intransitive) To make overtures; to approach with a proposal.
    • 2012, K.H. Rubin, ‎H.S. Ross, Peer Relationships and Social Skills in Childhood (page 44)
      For a partner setting a table in a game of “house,” an overturing child might assume the role of the father returning home from work at dinnertime rather than overturing by throwing a ball toward the child and yelling “catch.”

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