1

theater

play
noun the·ater \ ˈthē-ə-tər , ˈthēə- , usually in Southern ˈthē-ˌā- also thē-ˈā- \
variants: or theatre

Definition of theater

1 a :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
2 a :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
4 a :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)
5 a :dramatic or theatrical quality or effectiveness
b :spectacle 1a
c :entertainment in the form of a dramatic or diverting situation or series of events
  • their public feud made for good theater

Examples of theater in a Sentence

  1. the oldest theater in the city

  2. the theater district in New York City

  3. The film is now showing in theaters.

  4. We enjoyed a weekend of music, dance, and theater.

  5. He was very fond of the theater and had purchased tickets for several performances.

  6. Her interests include theater and poetry.

  7. the theater of 16th-century England

  8. She majored in theater in college.

  9. a course in American theater

  10. His monologues made for good theater.

Recent Examples of theater from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of theater

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

theater Synonyms

Other Performing Arts Terms


2

theater

adjective

Definition of theater

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

First Known Use of theater

1977



THEATER Defined for English Language Learners

theater

play
noun

Definition of theater for English Language Learners

  • : a building where plays, shows, etc., are performed on a stage

  • : a building or room in which movies are shown

  • : plays in general or as a form of entertainment


THEATER Defined for Kids

theater

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

Definition of theater for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

theater

noun the·ater
variants: or theatre play \ˈthē-ət-ər\

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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