fourth wall


Definition of fourth wall

: an imaginary wall (as at the opening of a modern stage proscenium) that keeps performers from recognizing or directly addressing their audience

Examples of fourth wall in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Breaking the fourth wall [and] voice-over that shifts from first-person to omniscient was just part of the DNA of it. Matt Brennan,, "‘Euphoria’ creator Sam Levinson isn’t interested in following the rules," 1 July 2019 The fourth wall comes tumbling down, but only when Jarmusch feels like it. Bill Goodykoontz, Detroit Free Press, "'The Dead Don't Die' should be great. So why isn’t it?," 13 May 2019 He was drawn to the irreverence—and to the nudge-nudge, wink-wink way the show seemed to break the fourth wall. Abby Aguirre, Vogue, "How the World Fell Head Over Heels for RuPaul," 15 Apr. 2019 The idea behind the long-running joke is that Reynolds' character, the snarky, wise-cracking, only-kind-of-sort-of-a-hero and, most importantly, fourth wall breaking Deadpool delights in mocking the face of the X-Men franchise, Jackman. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Ryan Reynolds Falls for a Prank Pulled by Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal," 22 Dec. 2018 The fantasy of the day after Christmas takes place in the bargain basement, an imaginary space beyond the fourth wall where objects must be sold, posthaste. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "The bleak hope of the day-after-Christmas sale," 27 Dec. 2018 In that scene, the movie breaks the fourth wall, going back to a focus group that appeared earlier in the movie to weigh in on some Republican Party messaging. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Vice doesn’t want to humanize Dick Cheney. So instead, it (maybe) demonizes America.," 21 Dec. 2018 Greg’s recasting wouldn’t work as a metaphor if Crazy Ex-Girlfriend weren’t already given to frequently breaking the fourth wall. Constance Grady, Vox, "How Crazy Ex-Girlfriend pulled off recasting Greg, one of its biggest characters," 12 Dec. 2018 Soft-lens earnestness is front-and-center as charismatic culture icons break the fourth wall with glamorous friends in bold-colored turtlenecks against a snowy backdrop. Liz Arcury, Marie Claire, "The 8 Best Celebrity Holiday Specials Ever," 29 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fourth wall.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fourth wall

1807, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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The first known use of fourth wall was in 1807

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