Definition of theatre in English:

theatre

Line breaks: the¦atre
Pronunciation: /ˈθɪətə
 
/
(US theater)

noun

  • 1A building or outdoor area in which plays and other dramatic performances are given.
    More example sentences
    • Performances increasingly moved to theatres with proscenium arches, so the audience now viewed the dancers from the front, though no two spectators would have an identical view.
    • The next performance at the theatre is Alan Ayckbourn's ‘Relatively Speaking’.
    • A landmark cultural building, either a theatre or an opera house, according to Coyne, will act as a focal point for the area.
    Synonyms
  • 1.1 [mass noun] (often the theatre) The activity or profession of acting in, producing, directing, or writing plays: what made you want to go into the theatre?
    More example sentences
    • After graduating, Grant dabbled briefly in advertising but plugged away at an acting career in regional theatre.
    • Since then he has attended the London Academy for Music and Dramatic Arts, and has been involved in all aspects of theatre including writing, acting and producing.
    • He is known for his non-conformist attitude in every field in which he has proven himself, be it politics, theatre or the legal profession.
    Synonyms
    acting, performing; drama, the dramatic arts, dramaturgy, the thespian art, stagecraft, theatricals, theatrics; show business, the stage
    informal the boards, show biz
    rare thespianism, histrionics
  • 1.2 [mass noun] A play or other activity or presentation considered in terms of its dramatic quality: this is intense, moving, and inspiring theatre
    More example sentences
    • They have acquired such a reputation for quality theatre that their shows are always a date for the calendar.
    • It has an unrivalled reputation for producing contemporary theatre of the highest quality, invention and energy, and for its dedication to new writing.
    • You couldn't get a better experience in terms of theatre.
  • 1.3chiefly North American & West Indian A cinema.
    More example sentences
    • General Cinemas has a similar theatre called the Premium Cinema in the Chicago suburbs.
    • I did not expect a disc of a film that played in art house theatres to be all that remarkable, but I was shocked by how impressed I was with the audio and video quality.
    • It now costs $13.50 to see an evening movie at a Famous Players megaplex, and Cineplex Odeon theatres like the Varsity have followed suit.
  • 2 (also lecture theatre) A room or hall for lectures with seats in tiers.
    More example sentences
    • He made the infants' room look like a lecture theatre, with children as young as three sitting on tiers in a gallery.
    • Work is due to start in April on the three-storey school, which will include a lecture theatre, IT rooms, restaurants and sports facilities.
    • The accommodation is rather basic and although they already have a lecture theatre, smaller conference rooms are needed.
    Synonyms
  • 2.1British An operating theatre: respiratory function is carefully controlled and monitored throughout the patient’s stay in theatre [as modifier]: the theatre nurse
    More example sentences
    • On Sundays he would worry about the patients whose surgery would be cancelled next day for want of a bed, when the hospital had surgeons, theatres, and operating crew available.
    • Her behaviour was always the same on the ward rounds, in clinics, and in theatre.
    • She works as a nurse in the orthopaedic theatre in Sligo General Hospital.
  • 3The area in which something happens: a new theatre of war has been opened up
    More example sentences
    • The question has to be asked, however, what parents were doing allowing their children to be in harm's way in the middle of a bloody theatre of war.
    • The theatre of war looms large in France's film culture and this First World War prison drama, based on a true story, was long hailed as one of the greatest films ever made.
    • To compound the woes of the invading forces, with every passing day weather conditions in the theatre of war will grow increasingly worse.
    Synonyms
    scene, arena, field/sphere/place of action; setting, site
  • 3.1 [as modifier] Denoting weapons intermediate between tactical and strategic: he was working on theatre defence missiles
    More example sentences
    • The Russians had rattled sabers throughout 1983, trying to stop NATO's theater missile deployment.
    • In the wake of the Rome Declaration, a special working group on theater missile defense was set up.
    • But it is not a tactical and theater missile threat that has formed the focus of National Missile Defense.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin theatrum, from Greek theatron, from theasthai 'behold'.

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