coup de théâtre


coup de thé·​âtre ˌkü-də-tā-ˈätrᵊ How to pronounce coup de théâtre (audio)
variants or coup de theatre
plural coups de théâtre or coups de theatre ˌkü-də-tā-ˈätrᵊ How to pronounce coup de théâtre (audio)
: a sudden sensational turn in a play
also : a sudden dramatic effect or turn of events
: a theatrical success

Word History


French coup de théâtre, literally, stroke of theater

First Known Use

1747, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of coup de théâtre was in 1747

Dictionary Entries Near coup de théâtre

Cite this Entry

“Coup de théâtre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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