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also per·i·pe·ti·a  (pĕr′ə-pə-tē′ə, -tī′ə)
A sudden change of events or reversal of circumstances, especially in a literary work.

[Greek, from peripiptein, peripet-, to change suddenly : peri-, peri- + piptein, to fall; see pet- in Indo-European roots.]

peripeteia, peripetia, peripety

Literature. a sudden change in the course of events, especially in dramatic works.
See also: Drama
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.peripetia - a sudden and unexpected change of fortune or reverse of circumstances (especially in a literary work); "a peripeteia swiftly turns a routine sequence of events into a story worth telling"
surprise - a sudden unexpected event
References in periodicals archive ?
Piccolomini (1575: 166): "la peripetia intendo io esser una mutation di fortuna.
In fact, Hamlet's failure in love is not at all a peripetia since he has deliberately suppressed it and this suppression is not at all causing any serious disappointment in Hamlet.
I filosofikes epidrasis stin pnefmatiki peripetia tu Niku Kazantzaki", en Diavazo 190.