Definition of coup de théâtre in English:

Share this entry

coup de théâtre

Pronunciation: /ˌkuː də teɪˈɑːtr(ə)/
Pronunciation: /ku də teɑtʀ/

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…’


French, literally 'blow of theatre'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: coup de théâtre

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.