- a building designed for the performance of plays, operas, etc
- a large room or hall, usually with a raised platform and tiered seats for an audience, used for lectures, film shows, etc
- Also called: operating theatre a room in a hospital or other medical centre equipped for surgical operations
- plays regarded collectively as a form of art
- the theatre ⇒ the world of actors, theatrical companies, etc
- a setting for dramatic or important events
- writing that is suitable for dramatic presentation: a good piece of theatre
- US Austral NZ
the usual word for cinema
- a major area of military activity
- a circular or semicircular open-air building with tiers of seats
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
- Show Businesstheater.
- Show Business[countable] a building or an outdoor area for plays or motion-picture shows.
- [countable] a room with rows of seats, used for lectures, etc.
- the theater, drama as a branch of art, esp. as a profession.
- a particular type, style, or category of this art:Elizabethan theater.
- Show Businessa building, part of a building, or outdoor area for housing dramatic presentations, stage entertainments, or motion-picture shows.
- Show Businessthe audience at a theatrical or motion-picture performance:The theater wept.
- Show Businessa theatrical or acting company.
- a room or hall, fitted with tiers of seats rising like steps, used for lectures, surgical demonstrations, etc.:Students crowded into the operating theater.
- Show Businessthe theater, dramatic performances as a branch of art; the drama:an actress devoted to the theater.
- Show Businessdramatic works collectively, as of literature, a nation, or an author (often prec. by the):the theater of Ibsen.
- Show Businessthe quality or effectiveness of dramatic performance:good theater; bad theater;
- a place of action;
field of operations.
- a natural formation of land rising by steps or gradations.
- Greek théātron seeing place, theater, equivalent. to theā-, stem of theâsthai to view + -tron suffix denoting means or place
- Latin theātrum
- Middle English theatre 1325–75
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: (thē′ə tər, thēə′-).
A pronunciation with stress on the second syllable and the (ā)
vowel: (thē ā′tər)
or sometimes (thē′ā′tər)
is characteristic chiefly of uneducated speech.