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prelude (noun) action or event indicating a more important action or event coming after it
An event is a prelude to a more important event of the same type if the first event indicates the second event, and makes people expect it. A street fight between two individuals may be a prelude to a more serious fight between two groups, If the fight between the two leads to the fight between the groups.
- The persecution of the Jews by the Nazis was the prelude to the whole of Europe plunging into the World War II. What began as the persecution of the Jews led to Hitlerís design to subjugate the whole of Europe, and that led to a major war.
- The large scale migration of the Jews to escape persecution by Hitler and his men was the prelude to the creation of Israel. Israel, formed from Arab territories, was to provide the fleeing Jews with a homeland.