Definition of denouement in English:


Line breaks: de|noue|ment
Pronunciation: /deɪˈnuːmɒ̃
(also dénouement)


  • 1The final part of a play, film, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved: the film’s denouement was unsatisfying and ambiguous
    More example sentences
    • None of Wilder's leading characters, no matter how neat the final denouements of his films sometimes are, were ever anything but anti-heroes.
    • The denouement of the final twist in the plot is so startling and funny that the laughter must surely have been heard above the traffic outside the theatre.
    • There's nothing like seeing two improbably beautiful people fall in love, fight, and reach a film's dénouement together.
    finale, final scene, final act, last act, epilogue, coda, end, ending, finish, close; culmination, climax, conclusion, resolution, solution, clarification, unravelling
    informal wind-up
  • 1.1The outcome of a situation, when something is decided or made clear: I waited by the eighteenth green to see the denouement
    More example sentences
    • You think journalists are being more impatient with the outcome, waiting for denouement, than the public is?
    • Being grounded in the basics of law, the legal battle which started from the Paravur Municipal Court, had a successful denouement at the Supreme Court.
    • New generations would tell and retell the story of the Revolution itself, with different accounts of the rising action, climax, and dénouement, and with different heroes and villains.
    outcome, upshot, consequence, result, end result, end, ending, termination, culmination, climax
    informal pay-off
    dated issue
    archaic success


mid 18th century: French dénouement, from dénouer 'unknot'.

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