- theatre (standard spelling in all English-speaking countries that use British spelling)
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.
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈθi(ə)tɚ/, (sometimes) /ˈθɪə.tɚ/
Audio (US) (file)
- (Canada, Southern American English) IPA(key): /ˈθi(ə)tɚ/, /ˈθi.eɪ.tɚ/
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈθiː.ə.tə/, /ˈθɪə.tə/, (somewhat dated) /θiˈɛt.ə/, (obsolete) /θiˈeɪ.tə/
Audio (UK) (file)
- (General New Zealand) IPA(key): /ˈθiətə/, [ˈθiə̯tɜ], [ˈθiə̯ɾɜ]
- 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.
- 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.
- A lecture theatre.
- (medicine) An operating theatre or locale for human experimentation.
- This man is about to die, get him into theater at once!
- (US) A cinema.
- We sat in the back row of the theater and threw popcorn at the screen.
- Drama or performance as a profession or art form.
- I worked in theater for twenty-five years.
- Any place rising by steps like the seats of a theater.
- 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.
- 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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
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”).
- theater (US), theatre (Commonwealth): either drama, the art form, or a drama theater (building)
- A theatre open to the sky; an amphitheatre.
- Any stage which plays and performances take place at.
- (rare) A whorehouse.