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2017 Word of the Year

coup de théâtre

[kooduh tey-ah-truh] /kudə teɪˈɑ trə/
noun, plural coups de théâtre
[kooduh tey-ah-truh] /kudə teɪˈɑ trə/ (Show IPA).
French.
1.
a surprising or unexpected turn of events in a play.
2.
a sensational and unexpected turn in the plot of a drama.
3.
any theatrical trick intended to have a sensational effect.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for coup de theatre
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On the fourth of July, the day Congress met, the government made use of a coup de theatre.

    Lincoln Nathaniel Wright Stephenson
  • I cried, as vexed as an author for whom some one has spoiled the effect of a coup de theatre.

    Sarrasine Honore de Balzac
British Dictionary definitions for coup de theatre

coup de théâtre

/ku də teɑtrə/
noun (pl) coups de théâtre (ku də teɑtrə)
1.
a dramatic turn of events, esp in a play
2.
a sensational device of stagecraft
3.
a stage success
Word Origin
literally: stroke of the theatre
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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