coup de théâtre

coup de thé·âtre | \ˌkü-də-tā-ˈätrᵊ \
variants: or coup de theatre
plural coups de théâtre or coups de theatre\ˌkü-də-tā-ˈätrᵊ \

Definition of coup de théâtre 

1 : a sudden sensational turn in a play also : a sudden dramatic effect or turn of events

2 : a theatrical success

First Known Use of coup de théâtre

1747, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for coup de théâtre

French coup de théâtre, literally, stroke of theater

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about coup de théâtre

Share coup de théâtre

Statistics for coup de théâtre

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coup de théâtre

The first known use of coup de théâtre was in 1747

See more words from the same year

Comments on coup de théâtre

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


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!