1. In fictional narratives (in print, on stage or on screen), the untold story of significant events leading up to the situation at the outset of the narrative.
2. (journalism) Either fuller details of the story behind the headlines and the short bulletins, or ‘behind-the-scenes’ information and updates released by a news organization regarding how its reporters have been investigating a story.
3. A brief montage (sometimes with a voiceover) at the start of an episode of a television serial (or at the start of a sequel) summarizing events from the story so far—primarily in case the viewer had missed an episode or only just started watching the serial.
4. A prequel.