Definition of theatrical in English:


Line breaks: the¦at|ri¦cal
Pronunciation: /θɪˈatrɪk(ə)l



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  • 1 (theatricals) Dramatic performances: I was persuaded to act in some amateur theatricals
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    • He also had an interest in amateur drama and theatricals and was responsible for staging many concerts and revues in his native town.
    • He was interested in the arts and not only supported our theatricals, but often took part in productions.
    • Dickens wrote actively while acting in private theatricals as well as touring and performing readings of his works.
  • 1.1Overdramatic behaviour: their love affair ended without theatricals
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    • But, it is safe to say, Fanny would have been on the side of the abolitionists from the first - as much a hater of human slavery in 1811 as she was a distruster of domestic theatricals, and from the same evangelical motives.
    • The Independent on Sunday, by contrast, pulled few punches, writing of how ‘shabby theatricals and disingenuous nonsense accompany the final steps towards war’.
    • Civil service lore - at least among finance officials - is full of colourful stories of threatened resignations by ministers, walk-outs and other theatricals.
  • 2A professional actor or actress: a boarding house that catered for theatricals
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    • She was the late, loved Dame Thora Hird, who lived the last months of her life in Brinsworth House home for retired theatricals.
    • Yes, I can just see myself at a home for retired theatricals, beret on at a rakish angle, red shoes, lipstick up to my nose, telling people how fantastic I was at the Royal Shakespeare Company.



More example sentences
  • Originally a reaction against realism in theater, ‘theatricalism’ reveals the machinations and artifice of theater.’
  • Finally, Marshall W. Mason's superb direction, using John Lee Beatty's outstanding set design, also helped to potentiate the theatricalism of the piece.
  • And his initial reaction to the food is overwrought: In one scene he vomits immediately after eating, and it reeks of theatricalism.


Pronunciation: /-ˈkalɪti/
More example sentences
  • His songs are full of fantastic theatricality and drama.
  • In place of scientific procedure we get a confusing display of theatricality.
  • Drama and theatricality co-exist, as it were, in performance.


Pronunciation: /-lʌɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
(also theatricalisation) noun
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  • Hoyt pictures immigrants sympathetically, narrating stories of individuals detained, reunited, and deported, and importantly, her presentation depends upon theatricalization.
  • The method of installation art, his use of everyday objects in conjunction with his photographs, his careful use of light and shadow all speak of a theatricalization of memory and self.
  • One result of this theatricalization was a complex eroticism produced out of ‘a voyeuristic bond between mannequin and spectator’.


(also theatricalise) verb
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  • That Manet might have intended a subtle effect of theatricalizing the movement and location of the cortège is suggested by the presence of an observer who watches the funeral procession.
  • And therein lies the seed of the paradox that led Inglis to enlist Schmidt's help in theatricalizing the poem.
  • In contrast to that meditation on power, ‘Meetings’ chronicles and theatricalizes small-town democracy in action.


More example sentences
  • It is traditional children's fare, mildly entertaining, but not exactly theatrically thrilling.
  • Not only are their physical moves unsynchronized, but theatrically, the actors seem to be reading from different pages.
  • McCartney's job, as a dramatist, was to explore the issue theatrically, perhaps positing more questions along the way.


mid 16th century: via late Latin from Greek theatrikos (from theatron 'theatre') + -al.

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