overture

overture n Overture, approach, advance, tender, bid are words of somewhat indefinite application covering a vari-ety of acts or actions by which one person or party tries to gain the goodwill of another person or party.
Overture implies an attempt to begin a relationship. It may designate a formal proposal intended to open negotiations (as for peace, for a marriage between persons of royal blood, or for a merger of corporations). It is, however, often applied to an act or speech that may be construed as a search for an opening (as for friendship, for reconciliation, or for cooperation)
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she was not one of those backward and delicate ladies, who can die rather than make the first overtureFielding

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"You are the new second officer, I believe." Mr. Powell answered in the affirmative, wondering if this was a friendly overtureConrad

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Approach, often in the plural, may be used in place of overture when the latter is felt to be too formal
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the two girls made timid approaches to each other

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the minister is always tempted to break through . . . with intimate approaches to a congregation which are off the record— Sperry

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females who are most often involved in tavern pickups and in street approachesKinsey et al

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Advance, usually in the plural, may be applied to an attempt to gain love, friendship, or goodwill, whether it serve as an overture or as an effort to establish a closer relationship
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she tried to make talk, but Hugh answered all her advances . . . briefly— Anderson

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and it is the one of these terms that is freely used without qualification to suggest irregularity or impropriety in the overtures made
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Frances withstood the advances of the King, but she accepted his gift— Sylvia Gray

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if an officer with a higher rank than my husband's makes advances to me, do I have to submit if I want my husband to get promoted?— Kaderll

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Tender retains its primary meaning of offer, but it does not necessarily imply specific acts or a formal proposal. Sometimes it suggests little more than a sign or token
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"He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders of his affection to me." "Affection! pooh! you speak like a green girl. . . . Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?"— Shak.

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honored him by the tender of some important appointment— J. D. Hicks

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Bid adds to advance the implication of appeal or, sometimes, of invitation; it always requires qualification
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a bid for sympathy

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a bid for patronage

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Like the other words of this group, the specific nature of the act or action can be inferred only from the context
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de Gaulle's speech was generally considered a bid for the presidency— Ehrmann

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the establishing of a whaling colony as their first bid to fortune on the South river— Amer. Guide Series: Del.

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Analogous words: *proposal, proposition: offering or offer, proffering (see corresponding verbs at OFFER)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Overture — O ver*ture, [OF. overture, F. ouverture, fr. OF. ovrir, F. ouvrir. See {Overt}.] 1. An opening or aperture; a recess; a chamber. [Obs.] Spenser. The cave s inmost overture. Chapman. [1913 Webster] 2. Disclosure; discovery; revelation. [Obs.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Overture — «Overture from Tommy» Sencillo de The Who del álbum Tommy Lado A «See Me, Feel Me» Publicación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Overture — O ver*ture, v. t. To make an overture to; as, to overture a religious body on some subject. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Overture! — Album par Wink Sortie 1er juillet 1994 Durée 43:47 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Overture — Chanson par The Who extrait de l’album Tommy Pays  Angleterre Sortie 17 mai …   Wikipédia en Français

  • overture — (n.) mid 13c., an introductory proposal, from O.Fr. overture opening, proposal, from L. apertura opening, from aperire to open, uncover (see OVERT (Cf. overt)). Orchestral sense first recorded in English 1660s …   Etymology dictionary

  • overture — [ō′vər chər] n. [ME, an opening < OFr < VL * opertura < L apertura,APERTURE] 1. an introductory proposal or offer; indication of willingness to negotiate 2. a) a musical introduction to an opera or other large musical work b) an… …   English World dictionary

  • overture — I noun advance, approach, beginning, bid, condicio, exordium, foreword, initiative, introduction, invitation, motion, offer, opening of negotiations, preamble, preface, preliminary, preliminary negotiation, prelude, presentation, proem, proffer,… …   Law dictionary

  • overture — [n] introduction, approach advance, bid, conciliatory move, exordium, foreword, invitation, offer, opening, preamble, preface, prelude, prelusion, presentation, proem, prologue, proposal, proposition, signal, suggestion, tender; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • overture — ► NOUN 1) an orchestral piece at the beginning of a musical work. 2) an independent orchestral composition in one movement. 3) an introduction to something more substantial. 4) (overtures) approaches made with the aim of opening negotiations or… …   English terms dictionary

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