dra·​mat·​ic | \ drə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce dramatic (audio) \

Definition of dramatic

1 literature : of or relating to the drama a dramatic actor
2a : suitable to or characteristic of the drama a dramatic story a dramatic attempt to escape a dramatic comeback
b : striking in appearance or effect a dramatic pause
3 of an opera singer : having a powerful voice and a declamatory style — compare lyric

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Other Words from dramatic

dramatically \ drə-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce dramatically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for dramatic


histrionic, melodramatic, operatic, stagy (or stagey), theatrical (also theatric)



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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Mayer then challenged actor Jason Statham, who took it on with the most dramatic facial expression ever. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Bottle cap challenge: Pop star’s surprising entry in latest viral trend," 3 July 2019 Usually, the most dramatic part of human space travel is the liftoff. Christian Davenport, Washington Post, "NASA faces a key test of Orion spacecraft, as it scrambles to meet Trump moon mandate," 2 July 2019 Now the most dramatic decision of all belongs to the person who has refused to engage with any of it. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "NBA Free Agency Is on Fire, but Kawhi Leonard Still Controls Everything," 1 July 2019 During the final three years of García’s first term, the nation’s G.D.P. fell by a quarter, one of the most dramatic recessions in Peru’s history. Daniel Alarcón, The New Yorker, "What Led Peru’s Former President to Take His Own Life?," 1 July 2019 The most dramatic moment of the evening was arguably when Harris confronted Biden about his opposition to a busing plan to integrate segregated schools, noting that the issue impacted her personally as a child. Time Staff, Time, "Here's What the Candidates Said During Thursday's Dramatic Democratic Presidential Debate," 29 June 2019 But the most dramatic exchange was not only over policy — but also personal history. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Biden Comes Under Attack From All Sides in Democratic Debate," 27 June 2019 The rise in churchlessness is most dramatic among young Americans. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Cradles, Pews and the Societal Shifts Coming to Politics," 24 June 2019 Prayer offers perhaps the most dramatic opportunity to study the health benefits of well wishes. The Conversation, oregonlive.com, "Does Alex Trebek prove ‘thoughts and prayers’ actually work?," 22 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dramatic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dramatic

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dramatic

see drama

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Statistics for dramatic

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dramatic

The first known use of dramatic was in 1589

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More Definitions for dramatic



English Language Learners Definition of dramatic

: sudden and extreme
: greatly affecting people's emotions
: attracting attention : causing people to carefully listen, look, etc.


dra·​mat·​ic | \ drə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce dramatic (audio) \

Kids Definition of dramatic

1 : having to do with drama a dramatic actor
2 : attracting attention He made a dramatic entrance.
3 : sudden and extreme a dramatic change

Other Words from dramatic

dramatically \ -​ti-​kə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on dramatic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dramatic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dramatic

Spanish Central: Translation of dramatic

Nglish: Translation of dramatic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dramatic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dramatic

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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