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peripeteia

[per-uh-pi-tahy-uh, -tee-uh] /ˌpɛr ə pɪˈtaɪ ə, -ˈti ə/
noun
1.
a sudden turn of events or an unexpected reversal, especially in a literary work.
Also, peripetia, peripety
[puh-rip-i-tee] /pəˈrɪp ɪ ti/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95; < Greek peripéteia sudden change, equivalent to peripet(ḗs) literally, falling round (peri- peri- + pet-, base of píptein to fall) + -eia -y3
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for peripety

peripeteia

/ˌpɛrɪpɪˈtaɪə; -ˈtɪə/
noun
1.
(esp in drama) an abrupt turn of events or reversal of circumstances
Derived Forms
peripeteian, peripetian, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Greek, from peri- + piptein to fall (to change suddenly, literally: to fall around)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for peripety

peripeteia

n.

also peripetia, 1590s, from Greek peripeteia "a turn right about; a sudden change" (of fortune, in a tragedy), from peri- "around" (see peri-) + stem of piptein "to fall" (see symptom).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for peripety

peripeteia

the turning point in a drama after which the plot moves steadily to its denouement. It is discussed by Aristotle in the Poetics as the shift of the tragic protagonist's fortune from good to bad, which is essential to the plot of a tragedy. It is often an ironic twist, as in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex when a messenger brings Oedipus news about his parents that he thinks will cheer him, but the news instead slowly brings about the awful recognition that leads to Oedipus's catastrophe

Learn more about peripeteia with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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15
16
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