dra·​mat·​ic drə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce dramatic (audio)
literature : of or relating to drama
a dramatic actor
… has earned three Oscar nominations for his dramatic roles …Nellie Andreeva
… offers an outstanding vocal and dramatic performance …Alison Norton
: suitable to or characteristic of drama (as in being very exciting or moving)
a dramatic story
a dramatic attempt to escape
a dramatic comeback
: sudden and extreme
a dramatic increase/decrease in sales
a dramatic improvement
The changes have had a dramatic impact.
: striking in appearance or effect
The speaker made a dramatic pause before the big announcement.
… made a dramatic entrance … in a larger-than-life princess ballgown that encompassed the red carpet.Alyssa Morin
: having or showing a tendency to behave or react in an exaggerated way
a dramatic sigh
'This is the most beautiful place in the world,' I gasped. 'You're so dramatic, Jessica,' he said, laughing.Jessica Fox
I started to think, "What if people aren't interested in me, or us, by the end of this pandemic? What am I going to do for the rest of my life?" I don't know why I thought like that. Now that I think about it, I'm so dramatic.Roseanne Chaeyoung Park
of an opera singer : having a powerful voice and a declamatory style compare lyric
dramatically adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for dramatic

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

Examples of dramatic in a Sentence

His parents noticed a dramatic change in his behavior. There was a dramatic increase in prices. The book tells the dramatic story of her battle with cancer. She made a dramatic entrance wearing a bright red dress. There was a dramatic pause before his big announcement. The painter used dramatic colors. They are members of the local dramatic society.
Recent Examples on the Web But in this election, the gradual decline in ANC support over the last 20 years grew more dramatic, Dooms said. Kate Bartlett, NPR, 1 June 2024 The Angels led by a dominant pitching staff won a dramatic World Series over the San Francisco Giants in seven games for their first and only title. Lawrence Dow, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 31 May 2024 Since 1999, Chandra’s data has given astronomers incredibly detailed images of some of the universe’s most dramatic events. Giuseppina Fabbiano, Discover Magazine, 31 May 2024 The network selects the very dramatic Lily Fireball as the show’s feisty villain, and Murray sees trouble on the set. Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times, 31 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for dramatic 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dramatic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see drama

First Known Use

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dramatic was in 1589

Dictionary Entries Near dramatic

Cite this Entry

“Dramatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dramatic. Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


dra·​mat·​ic drə-ˈmat-ik How to pronounce dramatic (audio)
: of or relating to drama
a dramatic actor
: suitable to or resembling that of drama
a dramatic escape
: attracting attention
made a dramatic entrance
dramatically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on dramatic

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