theater

From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Theater

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • theatre (standard spelling in all English-speaking countries that use British spelling)

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English theater, theatre, from Old French theatre, from Latin theatrum, from Ancient Greek θέατρον (théatron, a place for viewing), from θεάομαι (theáomai, to see", "to watch", "to observe). Doublet of tiatr.

Pronunciation[edit]

the ancient theater (1) of Epidaurus

Noun[edit]

theater (countable and uncountable, plural theaters) (American spelling)

  1. A place or building, consisting of a stage and seating, in which an audience gathers to watch plays, musical performances, public ceremonies, and so on.
  2. A region where a particular action takes place; a specific field of action, usually with reference to war.
    His grandfather was in the Pacific theater during the war.
    • 2019, Colson Whitehead, The Nickel Boys, Fleet, page 69:
      Percy had been too big for the town since he got back from the war. He served in the Pacific theater, behind the lines keeping up the supply chain.
  3. A lecture theatre.
  4. (medicine) An operating theatre or locale for human experimentation.
    This man is about to die, get him into theater at once!
  5. (US) A cinema.
    We sat in the back row of the theater and threw popcorn at the screen.
  6. Drama or performance as a profession or art form.
    I worked in theater for twenty-five years.
  7. Any place rising by steps like the seats of a theater.
  8. (figurative, derogatory, often following a noun used attributively) A conspicuous but unproductive display of action.
    The Senate confirmation hearings were just theater.
    security theater
    • 2012, Andrew Rens, “Enforcement Theater: The Enforcement Agenda and the Institutionalization of Enforcement Theater in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement”, in Suffolk Transnational Law Review[1], volume 35:
      ACTA proponents rely on claims of a growing piracy and counterfeiting threat. In the absence of credible evidence of the threat or that the measures in ACTA will reduce the threat, ACTA is no more than enforcement theater.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The spelling theatre is the main spelling in British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand English, with theater being rare.
  • In United States English, theater accounts for about 80 percent of usage in the major corpus of usage, COCA.
  • Among American theatre professionals, there is some usage of the two spellings in order to differentiate between the location theater (as in definitions 1–5) and the art-form theatre (definition 6). A variant of this differentiation is the usage of theatre for things relating to live performances (as in definitions 1 and 6) with theater being used for all other uses.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Compound words and expressions

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Dutch[edit]

Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nl

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Middle French théâtre, from Old French theatre, from Latin theatrum, from Ancient Greek θέατρον (théatron, a place for viewing), from θεάομαι (theáomai, to see", "to watch", "to observe).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

theater n (plural theaters, diminutive theatertje n)

  1. theater (US), theatre (Commonwealth): either drama, the art form, or a drama theater (building)

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Afrikaans: teater
  • Caribbean Javanese: téater
  • Indonesian: teater

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French theatre, from Latin theatrum, from Ancient Greek θέατρον (théatron).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈtɛːatər/, /ˌtɛːˈaːtər/

Noun[edit]

theater

  1. A theatre open to the sky; an amphitheatre.
  2. Any stage which plays and performances take place at.
  3. (rare) A whorehouse.

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]