[ per-uh-pi-tahy-uh, -tee-uh ]
/ ˌpɛr ə pɪˈtaɪ ə, -ˈti ə /
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a sudden turn of events or an unexpected reversal, especially in a literary work.



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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. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for peripeteia

British Dictionary definitions for peripeteia


peripetia peripety (pəˈrɪpətɪ)

/ (ˌpɛrɪpɪˈtaɪə, -ˈtɪə) /


(esp in drama) an abrupt turn of events or reversal of circumstances

Derived forms of peripeteia

peripeteian or peripetian, adjective

Word Origin for peripeteia

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