or dé·noue·ment

[ dey-noo-mahn ]
See synonyms for denouement on
  1. the final resolution of the intricacies of a plot, as of a drama or novel.

  2. the place in the plot at which this occurs.

  1. the outcome or resolution of a doubtful series of occurrences.

Origin of denouement

First recorded in 1745–55; from French: literally, “an untying,” equivalent to dénouer “to untie,” Old French desnoer (des- + noer “to knot,” from Latin nōdāre, derivative of nōdus “knot”) + -ment; see de-, -ment

Other words for denouement

Words Nearby denouement Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use denouement in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for denouement


dnouement (French denumɑ̃)

/ (deɪˈnuːmɒn) /

    • the final clarification or resolution of a plot in a play or other work

    • the point at which this occurs

  1. final outcome; solution

Origin of denouement

C18: from French, literally: an untying, from dénouer to untie, from Old French desnoer, from des- de- + noer to tie, knot, from Latin nōdāre, from nōdus a knot; see node

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

Cultural definitions for dénouement


[ (day-nooh-mahnn) ]

The solution or outcome of the plot of a play or novel: “In the dénouement of many tragedies, the main character dies.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.