One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A sudden reversal of fortune or change in circumstances, especially in reference to fictional narrative.
- ‘It also stresses the revenger's isolation from the world and the peripeteia of his actions which always lead to his own destruction.’
- ‘But the music itself coursed with the language and logic of the underdog peripeteia at the last-second buzzer.’
- ‘His intelligent cultivation and deferment of expectations through titles has built much of the resonance for this peripeteia by amplifying both the metaphorical and the mutual significance of what we have seen.’
Late 16th century: from Greek peripeteia ‘sudden change’, from peri- ‘around’ + the stem of piptein ‘to fall’.
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