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coup de théâtre

[kooduh tey-ah-truh]
noun, plural coups de thé·â·tre [kooduh tey-ah-truh] /kudə teɪˈɑ trə/. 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.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for coup de theatre

coup de théâtre

noun plural 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
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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