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definition of the word theatre

by the Wiktionnary

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

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Alternative spellings

The spelling theatre is the main spelling in Commonwealth English, with theater being rare.

In United States English, theater is the preferred spelling.



theatre (plural theatres)

  1. A place or building, consisting of a stage and seating, in which an audience gathers to watch plays, musical performances, public ceremonies etc.
    "The theatre is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, it is also the return of art to life." — (w:Oscar Wilde)
  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 theatre during the war.
  3. A lecture theatre.
  4. (medicine) An operating theatre.
    This man is about to die, get him into theatre at once!
  5. (US, Australia, NZ) A cinema, or picture theatre.
    We sat in the back row of the theatre and threw popcorn at the screen.
  6. Drama or performance as a profession or artform.
    I worked in the theatre for twenty-five years.
  7. (US) A drama theater (to distinguish from the cinema theater)

  1. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (New Zealand) An informal request to cease a labouring or argumentative conversation. Commonly used on PA System, a well-known New Zealand blog. (Orig.) arising from the absurdism of shouting 'theatre' in a theatre, the term has undergone semantic broadening to include any absurd thread development.
    "I theatre this thread."
    a more common usage is the exclamation "THEATRE" during a heated, and potentially personal, comment exchange.
    discussion of usage disambiguation

Definition from Wiktionary
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