In theater, an entr'acte is a pause between sections of a play. You can also call an entr'acte an intermission — and it's a good time to stretch your legs or check your text messages.

This theatrical word comes from the French entre, "between," and acte, "act," giving it the literal meaning "between the acts." It works as a synonym for "intermission," or the Italian "intermezzo," but it's also used for the music that's played during an intermission or scene change. In musical theatre, an entr'acte works as a melodic introduction or overture for the next act.

Definitions of entr'acte

n the interlude between two acts of a play

Type of:
an intervening period or episode

n a brief show (music or dance etc) inserted between the sections of a longer performance

interlude, intermezzo
Type of:
the act of publicly exhibiting or entertaining

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.