January 16, 2012
- overture (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : an opening offer : proposal2 a : a musical composition played by the orchestra as the introduction to an opera or musical play b : a piece of music in the style of an overture for concert performance
- How do you use it?
- Though we rushed to the concert hall, the overture to the symphony had begun before we found our seats.
- Are you a word wiz?
What do you think the root word of "overture" means?You're off to a strong start if you chose B! "Overture" comes to us ultimately from the Latin verb "aperire," meaning "to open." "Aperire" gave rise to the Latin noun "apertura," meaning "opening." ("Aperire" is also the source for the English noun "aperture," which means "opening.") Word scholars believe that "aperatura" was changed to "opertura" in the Latin that was spoken by the common people. By the 1400s, "operatura" had traveled from Latin through French to Middle English as "overture." Initially, English "overture" referred to an opening offer in a negotiation. It wasn't until the 1600s that it became a term in the world of musical performances.