What does the word exordium mean?

Usage examples for exordium

  1. For what is the Action, appears from the Stress and Turn of the Work, not from the Title or Exordium; from the End, not from the Beginning: And of This the Readers are to judge, as well as of any thing else. – The Preface to the Aeneis of Virgil (1718) by Joseph Trapp
  2. The effect of that exordium, delivered as he alone could have delivered it, must have been appalling. – Daniel Webster by Henry Cabot Lodge
  3. The words, so unexpected, so strangely different from the usual exordium, seemed to pass from line to line through the crowd. – The Fortunate Youth by William J. Locke