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

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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 AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark Theatres are among the movie theater companies that have filed a lawsuit against New Jersey's governor for not yet giving them the green light to reopen, Variety reports. TheWeek, "Movie theaters sue New Jersey for not yet letting them reopen," 7 July 2020 Marcus Theatres, a midwest movie theater chain, has a Parking Lot Cinema series running this year and has developed a number of rules to keep patrons safe. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "Drive-In Movies Coming to Walmart Later This Summer," 6 July 2020 The nation’s largest movie theater chain is pushing back its opening date. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "AMC Theaters delay pushes back opening to July 30," 30 June 2020 Atlas Cinemas is the only movie theater chain currently open in Northeast Ohio. cleveland, "AMC, Cinemark, Regal push back movie theater reopenings," 30 June 2020 The theater chain had planned to begin a multi-phase reopening on July 15, with the goal of being fully operational by July 24. Clare Duffy, CNN, "AMC delays US theater openings as it waits for summer blockbusters," 29 June 2020 AMC Entertainment Holdings, the country’s largest theater chain, is postponing plans to reopen its U.S. locations by about two weeks, to July 30, following date changes for the upcoming releases of two major films. R.t. Watson, WSJ, "AMC Delays Reopening Theaters to Late July," 29 June 2020 This weekend, the theater chain opens a second drive-in location in the Milwaukee area, at the South Shore Cinema, 7261 S. 13th St., Oak Creek. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What's playing at Milwaukee-area drive-in movie theaters (and indoor theaters, too)," 25 June 2020 AMC Theatres on Friday reversed its optional mask policy and will require employees and guests to wear masks when the movie theater chain reopens. Jenna Ryu, USA TODAY, "AMC, the largest movie theater chain, reverses optional face mask policy after public outcry," 20 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for theater

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for theater

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Theater.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theater. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for theater

theater

noun
How to pronounce theater (audio) How to pronounce theater (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for theater

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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