- a sudden turn of events or an unexpected reversal, especially in a literary work.
Also per·i·pe·ti·a, pe·rip·e·ty [puh-rip-i-tee] /pəˈrɪp ɪ ti/.
Origin of peripeteia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for peripety
Two parts of the Plot, then, Peripety and Discovery, are on matters of this sort.The Poetics
But Theodore Kremer, who very possibly never heard of peripety, would do exactly the same thing.Seeing Things at Night
When a pupil brings in a play in favor of polygamy, Baker declines to argue but talks instead about peripety.Pieces of Hate
Has the conception of the peripety, as an almost obligatory element in drama, any significance for the modern playwright?
In the third act of Othello we have a peripety handled with consummate theatrical skill.
peripetia peripety (pəˈrɪpətɪ)
- (esp in drama) an abrupt turn of events or reversal of circumstances
C16: from Greek, from peri- + piptein to fall (to change suddenly, literally: to fall around)
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
Word Origin and History for peripety
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper