or the·a·tre

[ thee-uh-ter, theeuh- ]
/ ˈθi ə tər, ˈθiə- /


Origin of theater

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English theatre, from Latin theātrum, from Greek théātron “seeing place, theater,” equivalent to theā-, stem of theâsthai “to view” + -tron suffix denoting means or place

pronunciation note for theater

Theater, an early Middle English borrowing from French, originally had its primary stress on the second syllable: [French tey-ah-truh]. /French teɪˈɑ trə/. As with many early French borrowings ( beauty, carriage, marriage ), the stress moved to the first syllable, in conformity with a common English pattern of stress, and this pattern remains the standard one for theater today: [thee-uh-ter]. /ˈθi ə tər/. A pronunciation with stress on the second syllable and the vowel [ey], /eɪ/, as [thee-ey-ter] /θiˈeɪ tər/ or sometimes [thee-ey-ter] /ˈθiˌeɪ tər/ is characteristic chiefly of a nonstandard regional pronunciation in the United States that may be perceived as uneducated.


non·the·a·ter, adjectivepre·the·a·ter, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for theater