Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

peripeteia

[per-uh-pi-tahy-uh, -tee-uh]
See more synonyms for peripeteia on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a sudden turn of events or an unexpected reversal, especially in a literary work.
Show More
Also per·i·pe·ti·a, pe·rip·e·ty [puh-rip-i-tee] /pəˈrɪp ɪ ti/.

Origin of peripeteia

1585–95; < Greek peripéteia sudden change, equivalent to peripet(ḗs) literally, falling round (peri- peri- + pet-, base of píptein to fall) + -eia -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for peripety

Historical Examples

  • Two parts of the Plot, then, Peripety and Discovery, are on matters of this sort.

    The Poetics

    Aristotle

  • But Theodore Kremer, who very possibly never heard of peripety, would do exactly the same thing.

  • When a pupil brings in a play in favor of polygamy, Baker declines to argue but talks instead about peripety.

    Pieces of Hate

    Heywood Broun

  • Has the conception of the peripety, as an almost obligatory element in drama, any significance for the modern playwright?

    Play-Making

    William Archer

  • In the third act of Othello we have a peripety handled with consummate theatrical skill.

    Play-Making

    William Archer


British Dictionary definitions for peripety

peripeteia

peripetia peripety (pəˈrɪpətɪ)

noun
  1. (esp in drama) an abrupt turn of events or reversal of circumstances
Show More
Derived Formsperipeteian or peripetian, adjective

Word Origin

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

peripeteia

n.

also peripetia, 1590s, from Greek peripeteia "a turn right about; a sudden change" (of fortune, in a tragedy), from peri- "around" (see peri-) + stem of piptein "to fall" (see symptom).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper