Share this entry
peripeteia Syllabification: per·i·pe·tei·a
Pronunciation: /ˌperəpəˈtēyə/

Definition of peripeteia in English:


A sudden reversal of fortune or change in circumstances, especially in reference to fictional narrative.
Example sentences
  • But the music itself coursed with the language and logic of the underdog peripeteia at the last-second buzzer.
  • It also stresses the revenger's isolation from the world and the peripeteia of his actions which always lead to his own destruction.
  • His intelligent cultivation and deferment of expectations through titles has built much of the resonance for this peripeteia by amplifying both the metaphorical and the mutual significance of what we have seen.


Late 16th century: from Greek peripeteia 'sudden change', from peri- 'around' + the stem of piptein 'to fall'.

Words that rhyme with peripeteia

acquire, admire, afire, applier, aspire, attire, ayah, backfire, barbwire, bemire, briar, buyer, byre, choir, conspire, crier, cryer, defier, denier, desire, dire, drier, dryer, dyer, enquire, entire, esquire, expire, fire, flyer, friar, fryer, Gaia, gyre, hellfire, hire, hiya, ire, Isaiah, jambalaya, Jeremiah, Josiah, Kintyre, latria, liar, lyre, Maia, Maya, Mayer, messiah, mire, misfire, Nehemiah, Obadiah, papaya, pariah, perspire, playa, Praia, prior, pyre, quire, replier, scryer, shire, shyer, sire, skyer, Sophia, spire, squire, supplier, Surabaya, suspire, tier, tire, transpire, trier, tumble-dryer, tyre, Uriah, via, wire, Zechariah, Zedekiah, Zephaniah
Definition of peripeteia in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources