fourth


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break the fourth wall

Of fiction, especially theater, film, or television, to break the illusion of separation between the audience and the fiction itself, either intentionally or unintentionally. Taken originally from theater, in which the fourth wall describes the invisible "wall" that stands between the audience and the stage. We were enjoying the play, but one of the actors kept breaking the fourth wall by glaring at the audience any time someone made any noise. I love shows that break the fourth wall—it makes me feel like I'm in on the joke.
See also: break, fourth, wall

the Fourth Estate

The people and organizations that report the news, or news journalism as a whole, regarded as having palpable but unofficial political influence. One must never forget the sway held by members of the Fourth Estate—if we want public support, then we need the press on our side.
See also: estate, fourth

fourth wall joke

In fiction, especially theater, film, or television, a joke that intentionally draws attention to the illusion of separation between the audience and the fiction itself. I love it when a TV show throws in a good fourth wall joke—I think it's fun being in on the humor like that.
See also: fourth, joke, wall

fourth wall

The imaginary barrier separating performers in a TV show, film, or play from the audience. I hate those shows that break the fourth wall—I don't want to feel like the characters are having a conversation with me! Stay in character and don't break the fourth wall!
See also: fourth, wall

the fourth estate

the press; the profession of journalism.
The three traditional Estates of the Realm (the Crown, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons) are now viewed as having been joined by the press, which is regarded as having equal power. As early as 1843 Lord Macaulay stated: ‘The gallery in which the reporters sit has become a fourth estate of the realm’.
See also: estate, fourth
References in classic literature ?
These have been already explained to belong to the fourth of the enumerated classes, and have been shown to be, in a peculiar manner, the proper subjects of the national judicature.
Short and to the point was the duel that decided possession of the Orange Chief's fourth.
Our heads will be clearer, we shall be better able to make the fourth act in the morning.
It was only by reiterated promises to read the play that night, and to make the fourth act in the morning, that Henry prevailed on the Countess to return to her room.
But at that time let me have a shady rock and wine of Biblis, a clot of curds and milk of drained goats with the flesh of an heifer fed in the woods, that has never calved, and of firstling kids; then also let me drink bright wine, sitting in the shade, when my heart is satisfied with food, and so, turning my head to face the fresh Zephyr, from the everflowing spring which pours down unfouled thrice pour an offering of water, but make a fourth libation of wine.
770-779) To begin with, the first, the fourth, and the seventh -- on which Leto bare Apollo with the blade of gold -- each is a holy day.
The tenth is favourable for a male to be born; but, for a girl, the fourth day of the mid-month.
800-801) On the fourth of the month bring home your bride, but choose the omens which are best for this business.
Anne heard it and thrilled to it; Gilbert heard it, and wondered only that all the birds in the world had not burst into jubilant song; Paul heard it and later wrote a lyric about it which was one of the most admired in his first volume of verse; Charlotta the Fourth heard it and was blissfully sure it meant good luck for her adored Miss Shirley.
the individual husbandman, for example, producing for four, and labouring four times as long and as much as he need in the provision of food with which he supplies others as well as himself; or will he have nothing to do with others and not be at the trouble of producing for them, but provide for himself alone a fourth of the food in a fourth of the time, and in the remaining three-fourths of his time be employed in making a house or a coat or a pair of shoes, having no partnership with others, but supplying himself all his own wants?
But the lower- fourth was just now an overgrown form, too large for any one man to attend to properly, and consequently the elysium or ideal form of the young scapegraces who formed the staple of it.
The second monthly examination came round soon after Tom's fall, and it was with anything but lively anticipations that he and the other lower- fourth boys came in to prayers on the morning of the examination day.
Knotts Berry Farm presents its Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, 9:30 p.
Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today posted its fourth listing of model year 2003 New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) rollover and crash test results on the World Wide Web at http://www.
Specifically, the Court ruled on 1) whether a visitor within another individual's dwelling may challenge governmental action, alleging the action violated the Fourth Amendment; and 2) whether law enforcement violates the Fourth Amendment when it allows third parties access into areas where individuals enjoy privacy when the third parties are not necessary to accomplish the government's objectives.
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