Definition of denouement in US English:

denouement

noun

  • 1The final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.

    • ‘The poem doesn't reach a climax or any sense of denouement in this final installation.’
    • ‘As the music built to a final denouement a bright city rose behind the dancers and they joyfully went to enter it.’
    • ‘The plays require neither plot structure nor plausible dénouement to produce the recurring fantasy of woman's life in the absence of men.’
    • ‘The denouement of the final twist in the plot is so startling and funny that the laughter must surely have been heard above the traffic outside the theatre.’
    • ‘They borrowed their tropes, plots, and denouements from an American cultural tradition that included theories, artworks, and stories that linked nostalgia and extinction.’
    • ‘The stage was now set for the final denouement in a two-handed drama.’
    • ‘It combined the delicacy of ballet with the bombast of a Lloyd-Webber musical, and every move was executed like the denouement of a Shakespearean tragedy.’
    • ‘As the film moves to its denouement, it reverts more to formula with airborne bang-whack-pow style fights between good guy and bad.’
    • ‘As the novel reaches its denouement, the reader begins to see the astonishing mental strength of this woman.’
    • ‘The result is that the denouement of the film is nowhere near as hopeful or emotional as it should be, and the overall message is exposed as weak.’
    • ‘There's nothing like seeing two improbably beautiful people fall in love, fight, and reach a film's dénouement together.’
    • ‘Like so many loosely bound thrillers, the denouement doesn't add up and the final shoot-out is farcical.’
    • ‘To explore the intricacies of the plot further would give away the denouement and spoil any pleasure that might be culled from the evening.’
    • ‘The film opens with the denouement, the murder-suicide, and then recounts the events that preceded it.’
    • ‘It is this moment of rupture which carries the denouement of the film into relatively unexplored territory in Australian landscape cinema.’
    • ‘As if to reinforce the point, the final denouement, which takes place on live TV, is staged off-screen.’
    • ‘There is much to admire in Shakespeare's ability to combine plots and subplots of such diversity and create a dénouement in which any number of knots are blithely unraveled.’
    • ‘In the notes, you said the script was a little bit like getting a denouement of a film, rather like the third act all in one piece, and viewers have to learn about the characters as they go along.’
    • ‘None of Wilder's leading characters, no matter how neat the final denouements of his films sometimes are, were ever anything but anti-heroes.’
    • ‘Many critics complained about the prolonged denouement of the film, which is not fair because they seem to yield to reflex rather than judge by merit.’
    finale, final scene, final act, last act, epilogue, coda, end, ending, finish, close
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    1. 1.1 The climax of a chain of events, usually when something is decided or made clear.
      ‘I waited by the eighteenth green to see the denouement’
      • ‘Being grounded in the basics of law, the legal battle which started from the Paravur Municipal Court, had a successful denouement at the Supreme Court.’
      • ‘You think journalists are being more impatient with the outcome, waiting for denouement, than the public is?’
      • ‘I've decided that I will share here with readers the entire progress of one applicant's exchange of correspondence with the agency in regards to a claim, the genesis and discussion of the matter, and the dénouement.’
      • ‘New generations would tell and retell the story of the Revolution itself, with different accounts of the rising action, climax, and dénouement, and with different heroes and villains.’
      • ‘It could well be the precipitating event for the final denouement in this extraordinary period of financial history.’
      • ‘Cassady's situation has the ironies of a contrived novelistic denouement.’
      • ‘This also means that in the court of public opinion the tournament director stands totally vindicated by the way the championship has unfolded regardless of its remaining finals' denouements.’
      • ‘When we believe our own storyline, as if it were a novel that will reach its climax and denouement in tidy fashion, we delude ourselves.’
      outcome, upshot, consequence, result, end result, end, ending, termination, culmination, climax
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Origin

Mid 18th century: French dénouement, from dénouer ‘unknot’.

Pronunciation

denouement

/ˌdāno͞oˈmäN//ˌdeɪnuˈmɑ̃/