[ per-ə-pə-TEE-yə ]
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. "
Popularity Over Time
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.