Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

theatrical

play
adjective the·at·ri·cal \thē-ˈa-tri-kəl\

Simple Definition of theatrical

  • : of or relating to the theater

  • : behaving or done in a way that is meant to attract attention and that is often not genuine or sincere

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of theatrical

  1. 1 :  of or relating to the theater or the presentation of plays <a theatrical costume>

  2. 2 :  marked by pretense or artificiality of emotion

  3. 3a :  histrionic <a theatrical gesture>b :  marked by extravagant display or exhibitionism

theatricalism play \-kə-ˌli-zəm\ noun
theatricality play \-ˌa-trə-ˈka-lə-tē\ noun
theatrically play \-ˈa-tri-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of theatrical in a sentence

  1. a politician who has a highly theatrical manner of speaking

  2. <after stepping out of their hired limousine, the prom couple made a theatrical entrance in their evening clothes>



1558

First Known Use of theatrical

1558

Variants of theatrical

also theatric play \-trik\

Synonym Discussion of theatrical

dramatic, theatrical, histrionic, melodramatic mean having a character or an effect like that of acted plays. dramatic applies to situations in life and literature that stir the imagination and emotions deeply <a dramatic meeting of world leaders>. theatrical implies a crude appeal through artificiality or exaggeration in gesture or vocal expression <a theatrical oration>. histrionic applies to tones, gestures, and motions and suggests a deliberate affectation or staginess <a histrionic show of grief>. melodramatic suggests an exaggerated emotionalism or an inappropriate theatricalism <made a melodramatic plea>.

Other Performing Arts Terms


2

theatrical

noun the·at·ri·cal

Definition of theatrical

  1. 1 plural a :  the performance of playsb :  dramatics

  2. 2 British :  a professional actor

  3. 3 plural :  showy or extravagant gestures



Circa 1683

First Known Use of theatrical

circa 1683

Other Performing Arts Terms


THEATRICAL Defined for Kids

theatrical

play
adjective the·at·ri·cal \thē-ˈa-tri-kəl\

Definition of theatrical for Students

  1. :  for or relating to the presentation of plays <a theatrical production> <theatrical costumes>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up theatrical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by grandiloquent style

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

disapprove reduce soothe perplex
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ