• synonyms


  1. a timber or the like having a groove for guiding a sliding panel.
  2. Theater.
    1. the space between two wing flats, leg drops, or the like.
    2. any space or area backstage.
    3. wing flat.
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Origin of coulisse

1810–20; < French: groove, something that slides in a groove; see portcullis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for coulisse

Historical Examples

  • Her easy confession of the garden-company opened the trying scene,—almost in the coulisse.

    Titan: A Romance v. 1 (of 2)

    Jean Paul Friedrich Richter

  • Sale in blank was absolutely forbidden, and in the coulisse business was at a standstill.

  • The same "sesame" opened to him the coulisse of the Opera and the penetralia of the Franais.

  • A saucy soubrette who might easily have just stepped from the coulisse of a Parisian theater!

    The Green Mouse

    Robert W. Chambers

British Dictionary definitions for coulisse


  1. Also called: cullis a timber member grooved to take a sliding panel, such as a sluicegate, portcullis, or stage flat
    1. a flat piece of scenery situated in the wings of a theatre; wing flat
    2. a space between wing flats
  2. part of the Paris Bourse where unofficial securities are tradedCompare parquet (def. 4)
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Word Origin

C19: from French: groove, from Old French couleïce portcullis
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