a. An instrumental composition intended especially as an introduction to an extended work, such as an opera or oratorio.
b. A similar orchestral work intended for independent concert performance.
2. An introductory section or part, as of a poem; a prelude.
3. An act, offer, or proposal that indicates readiness to undertake a course of action or open a relationship.
tr.v. o·ver·tured, o·ver·tur·ing, o·ver·tures
1. To present as an introduction or proposal.
2. To present or make an offer or proposal to.
[Middle English, opening, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *ōpertūra, alteration (influenced by Latin cōperīre, to cover) of Latin apertūra, from apertus, past participle of aperīre, to open; see wer-4 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.