coup de théâtre

[ kooduh tey-ah-truh ]
/ kudə teɪˈɑ trə /

noun, plural coups de thé·â·tre [kooduh tey-ah-truh] /kudə teɪˈɑ trə/. French.

a surprising or unexpected turn of events in a play.
a sensational and unexpected turn in the plot of a drama.
any theatrical trick intended to have a sensational effect. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for coup de theatre

coup de théâtre

/ French (ku də teɑtrə) /

noun plural coups de théâtre (ku də teɑtrə)

a dramatic turn of events, esp in a play
a sensational device of stagecraft
a stage success

Word Origin for coup de théâtre

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