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 production comes courtesy of a brand-new theater company, The Eastern, whose managing artistic director, Justin Allen Slagle, directs a cast of 15 in the off-Broadway hit’s San Diego debut. San Diego Union-Tribune, "11 things to do in San Diego this weekend: San Diego Scottish Highland Games, Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-off, Old Globe’s ‘As You Like It’," 21 June 2019 Saban Films will release Tone-Deaf in theaters and On Demand, Aug. 23. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Robert Patrick is a killer neighbor in disturbing trailer for horror-comedy Tone-Deaf," 20 June 2019 The score is by Robert Maggio, with a libretto by Dan Henriksson, of the Finnish theater company Klockriketeatern. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "America’s Most Astonishing Choir Hates Sounding Pretty," 19 June 2019 The Witches is set to debut in theaters in October 2020. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Crew Member Stabbed on the Set of Anne Hathaway's Movie The Witches," 19 June 2019 Disney’s Frozen II will arrive in theaters later this year, and Disney is taking a real galaxy brain approach to the marketing campaign. Constance Grady, Vox, "Disney’s latest Frozen II trailer is light on details, heavy on magical horses," 11 June 2019 Recent scholarship has demonstrated that women were actively and visibly engaged in the business of the professional theater companies that burgeoned during the Elizabethan period. Phyllis Rackin, The Atlantic, "The Hidden Women Writers of the Elizabethan Theater," 8 June 2019 Late Night, acquired by Amazon Studios, opens in theaters Friday. Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Late Night' Costume Designer Breaks Down Emma Thompson's Power Pantsuits," 7 June 2019 The film, which was directed by Quentin Tarantino and features Al Pacino and Dakota Fanning, is out in theaters on July 26, 2019. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "What a "No Drama" Single Life Looks Like for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie," 23 May 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

25 Jun 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

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