theater

noun
the·​ater | \ ˈthē-ə-tər How to pronounce theater (audio) , ˈthēə-, usually in Southern ˈthē-ˌā- also thē-ˈā- How to pronounce theater (audio) \
variants: or theatre

Definition of theater

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a building or area for dramatic performances
b : a building or area for showing motion pictures
c : an outdoor structure for dramatic performances or spectacles in ancient Greece and Rome
2a : dramatic literature : plays
b : dramatic representation as an art or profession : drama
3 : a place or sphere of enactment of usually significant events or action the theater of public life
4a : a place rising by steps or gradations a woody theater of stateliest view— John Milton
b : a room often with rising tiers of seats for assemblies (as for lectures or surgical demonstrations)
5a : dramatic or theatrical quality or effectiveness
c : entertainment in the form of a dramatic or diverting situation or series of events their public feud made for good theater

theater

adjective

Definition of theater (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or appropriate for use in a theater of operations theater nuclear weapons

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Synonyms for theater

Synonyms: Noun

cinema, playhouse

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Examples of theater in a Sentence

Noun

the oldest theater in the city the theater district in New York City The film is now showing in theaters. We enjoyed a weekend of music, dance, and theater. He was very fond of the theater and had purchased tickets for several performances. Her interests include theater and poetry. the theater of 16th-century England She majored in theater in college. a course in American theater His monologues made for good theater.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The boutique theater is devoted to screening archive quality 35mm prints of films both underrated and beloved, classic and contemporary. Keaton Bell, Vogue, "The Coolest New Yorkers Came Out to Celebrate the Metrograph Theater's Third Birthday," 25 Mar. 2019 The latter theater is where Grace Kelly played the role. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Grace Kelly's Grandniece Is Reprising the Princess's First Professional Acting Role," 6 Mar. 2019 LOL Observation The Wiener Staatsoper, one of the grandest of the world’s grand old opera houses, is enormous, but the actual theater is almost cozy—1,700 seats—for an opera house. William Sertl, WSJ, "Brief, Breezy and Foolproof Itineraries to 6 European Cities," 16 Jan. 2019 Its grand promenade is unquestionably one of New York’s greatest rooms, and the theater itself is a giant jewel box that is at once a technical achievement and a wonderful venue for viewing America’s most celebrated and influential dance company. Mark Lamster, Curbed, "Arbiter of taste, enfant terrible: The best and worst of Philip Johnson," 6 Nov. 2018 It's been more than 40 years since Star Wars hit theaters, but the merchandising empire forged from George Lucas's epic space fantasy is stronger than its ever been. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Star Wars Toys for Any Aspiring Jedi," 27 Mar. 2019 If there’s been a Dora-sized hole in your heart since the show went off the air in 2014, don’t worry — a live-action movie version is set to hit theaters this summer, and the first full-length trailer is finally here. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Watch the Trailer for "Dora and the Lost City of Gold"," 24 Mar. 2019 In the film, which hit theaters on Friday, March 15, Sophia plays a more timely version of Nancy. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, ""IT" Star Sophia Lillis's Newest Role Is the Bold, Iconic Nancy Drew," 15 Mar. 2019 Wild Nights with Emily hits theaters on Friday, April 12. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Watch Molly Shannon Play Emily Dickinson as a Funny, Passionate Lesbian in Wild Nights with Emily," 7 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'theater.' 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 theater

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1c

Adjective

1977, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for theater

Noun

Middle English theatre, from Middle French, from Latin theatrum, from Greek theatron, from theasthai to view, from thea act of seeing; akin to Greek thauma miracle

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Statistics for theater

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for theater

The first known use of theater was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for theater

theater

noun

English Language Learners Definition of theater

: a building where plays, shows, etc., are performed on a stage
US : a building or room in which movies are shown
: plays in general or as a form of entertainment

theater

noun
the·​ater
variants: or theatre \ ˈthē-​ə-​tər \

Kids Definition of theater

1 : a building in which plays, motion pictures, or shows are presented
2 : the art or profession of producing plays
3 : plays or the performance of plays
4 : a place or area where some important action is carried on a theater of war

theater

noun
the·​ater
variants: or theatre \ ˈthē-​ət-​ər How to pronounce theatre (audio) \

Medical Definition of theater

1 : a room often with rising tiers of seats for assemblies (as for lectures or surgical demonstrations)
2 usually theatre, British : a hospital operating room

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More from Merriam-Webster on theater

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with theater

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for theater

Spanish Central: Translation of theater

Nglish: Translation of theater for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of theater for Arabic Speakers

Comments on theater

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