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 ?
Short and to the point was the duel that decided possession of the Orange Chief's fourth.
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.
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.
House-hunting in the other end of town ceased, and on Pine Street, between Fifth and Fourth, and in immediate proximity to the great Southern Pacific railroad yards, Billy and Saxon rented a neat cottage of four small rooms for ten dollars a month.
Centra (NASDAQ: CTRA), the leader in software and services for live eLearning and Internet business collaboration, today announced that Fourth Shift Corporation (NASDAQ:FSFT) has selected Centra 99(TM) to accelerate the delivery of live, instructor-led training to their Global 2500 manufacturing customers.
As part of their comprehensive Complete Care program, Fourth Shift selected Centra 99 to augment their traditional classroom training programs, and still provide each customer with the support and services necessary to ensure success of their e-ERP Backbone, and e-Business implementations.
It is critical to our ongoing success that we be able to reach all of our customers with important training, product updates and support," said Sandy Schrick, Director of Training and Development, Americas, for Fourth Shift.
Centra 99 is the only solution on the market today designed to achieve Fourth Shift's vision of delivering learning and knowledge with reach that spans both internal and external user communities.