Share this entry

Share this page

coup de théâtre

Line breaks: coup de théâtre
Pronunciation: /ˌkuː də teɪˈɑːtr(ə)
 
, ku də teɑtʀ/

Definition of coup de théâtre in English:

noun (plural coups de théâtre pronounced same)

1A dramatically sudden action or turn of events, especially in a play.
Example sentences
  • But Fancioulle's giving of life to a timeless work of art actually prepares the eventual entrance of death onto the stage in a dramatic coup de théâtre.
  • There is a final coup de théâtre that strikes me as needlessly flashy.
  • Dramatically, visually and ideologically, it was a triumph, a daring coup de théâtre that implicitly relocated the largely white audience within the on-stage struggle of the dignified West Indians.
2A successful theatrical production.
Example sentences
  • This skill, also known as coup d'oeil, was defined by von Clausewitz as ‘the rapid discovery of a truth which to the ordinary mind is not visible at all…’

Origin

French, literally 'blow of theatre'.

Definition of coup de théâtre in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing