Definition of histrionic in English:


Line breaks: his¦tri|on¦ic
Pronunciation: /ˌhɪstrɪˈɒnɪk


  • 1Excessively theatrical or dramatic in character or style: a histrionic outburst
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    • Buddy Guy's version of ‘Money’ is a great example of the extended guitar solo rock style - wonderfully histrionic.
    • Thank God, it's also not ‘entertaining’ in the histrionic style of films such as Girl, Interrupted and A Beautiful Mind.
    • Clarissa's quiet apotheosis is offered as an alternative to histrionic theatrics.
    melodramatic, theatrical, affected, dramatic, exaggerated, actorly, actressy, stagy, showy, artificial, overacted, overdone, unnatural, mannered, stilted, unreal
    informal hammy, ham, camp
  • 1.1 formal Of or concerning actors or acting: histrionic talents
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    • Spellbound inmates have been cheering every dialogue and applauding the histrionic skills of actors.
    • A little natural histrionic talent and lots of luck are what you require to make it big on the silver screen.
    • If political parties want to use their histrionic talents, why not?
  • 1.2 Psychiatry Denoting a personality disorder marked by shallow volatile emotions and attention-seeking behaviour.
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    • And you risk being labeled as having a narcissistic or histrionic personality disorder.
    • However, conduct problems at study entry did not significantly affect the risk for major depression or histrionic personality disorders in adulthood.
    • The survey found no gender differences in the prevalence of obsessive-compulsive, schizoid, or histrionic personality disorders.


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  • 1 (histrionics) Melodramatic behaviour designed to attract attention: by now, Anna was accustomed to her mother’s histrionics
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    • The average, mainstream American feature deals with grief by employing a mixture of histrionics and melodramatic manipulation.
    • But his dominance, like Smiley's, arises from a quiet natural authority that disdains the tasteless excesses of ostentation and histrionics.
    • And now that she apparently doesn't face the death penalty in Bali either, my sympathy for her histrionics is in fairly short supply.
    dramatics, drama, theatrics, theatricality, tantrums; affectation, staginess, artificiality, unnaturalness
  • 1.1 archaic Dramatic performances; the theatre: he loved the theatre and everything which savoured of histrionics
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    • This form of art provides ample scope for the actor to excel in histrionics.
  • 2 archaic An actor.



More example sentences
  • There wasn't much to do histrionically in that film.
  • ‘It's an old, rooted habit,’ said Bonetti of his man's tendency to flop histrionically.
  • Still, if I'm going to be disordered, even temporarily, it may as well be histrionically.


mid 17th century (in the sense 'dramatically exaggerated, hypocritical'): from late Latin histrionicus, from Latin histrio(n-) 'actor'.

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