Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
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.
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.
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.
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!
the fourth estatethe 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’.