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illustration Peripeteia



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Greek, late 16th century


A sudden reversal of fortune or change in circumstances, especially in reference to fictional narrative.

Examples of Peripeteia in a sentence

"The Prince and the Pauper is a classic tale of peripeteia."

"The audience was relieved to find that Charles’ peripeteia did not result in the loss of his family fortune."

About Peripeteia

This word developed from Greek, specifically from the combination of the words “peri” (around) + “piptein” (to fall), which together created “peripeteia” (sudden change).

Did you Know?

Studies have shown that human beings are psychologically attuned to root for the underdog — even perceiving the underdog as being more attractive, warmer, and more desirable. This might explain why we are so thrilled when the underdog experiences peripeteia, whether that moment is winning a big game or receiving a promotion after hardship.

illustration Peripeteia

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