Last modified on 22 August 2014, at 05:45


See also: Theater


Alternative formsEdit

  • theatre (standard spelling in all English-speaking countries except the USA)


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).


  • IPA(key): /ˈθiː(ə)tə(ɹ)/
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theater (plural theaters)

  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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Oscar Wilde:
      The theater is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, it is also the return of art to life.
  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.
  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 artform.
    I worked in the theater for twenty-five years.

Usage notesEdit

  • The spelling theatre is the main spelling in British English, with theater being rare.
  • In United States English, theater accounts for about 80 percent of usage in the major corpus of usage, COCA.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See alsoEdit



Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia nl



theater n (plural theaters, diminutive theatertje n)

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