Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

peripeteia

play
noun peri·pe·teia \ˌper-ə-pə-ˈtē-ə, -ˈtī-\

Definition of peripeteia

  1. :  a sudden or unexpected reversal of circumstances or situation especially in a literary work



Origin of peripeteia

Greek, from peripiptein to fall around, change suddenly, from peri- + piptein to fall — more at feather


First Known Use: 1591


Learn More about peripeteia


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up peripeteia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift duvet pince-nez kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ