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

Bachelorette Becca Kufrin has narrowed down the field of potential suitors to six remaining men after a dramatic sixth episode on Monday night. Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Bachelorette Power Rankings: Becca finally realizes that Chris is the worst," 3 July 2018 Things took a dramatic turn at the end of the acclaimed BBC America series Killing Eve, even by the standards of this twisting spy thriller. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Killing Eve: Everything We Know So Far About Season 2," 24 Dec. 2018 The dramatic arrest of celebrity-CEO Carlos Ghosn is rocking the automotive industry. Megumi Fujikawa, WSJ, "While Ghosn’s Picture Worsens, Ex-Nissan Director Kelly Sees Hope," 21 Dec. 2018 The fact that Snap’s daily audience is shrinking represents a rather dramatic turn from two years ago when Snap added 21 million daily users in the same quarter. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Snapchat’s daily user base is shrinking, and it’s blaming that app redesign," 7 Aug. 2018 However, Payet now could be heading back to the London Stadium in another dramatic turn of events for the Frenchman, who has been capped 35 times by his country. SI.com, "Former West Ham Star 'Open to Return' to London Stadium as Agent Pushes for Shock Reunion," 6 July 2018 Meanwhile, after a high of 91 on Thursday afternoon at Philadelphia International Airport on a day with heat indexes in the upper 90s, the weather evidently is about to take a dramatic turn. Anthony R. Wood, Philly.com, "Philadelphia reports first heat wave death in two years; flood watch in effect," 5 July 2018 The style shifts didn’t have to be dramatic in order to resonate. Vogue, "This Week, Stars Went for Bold Gestures and Bright Colors," 25 Mar. 2019 While the progress against the four major cancers is cause for celebration, in other cancers, the gains haven’t been as dramatic — or there have been reversals. Julia Belluz, Vox, "We’re making real progress against cancer. But you may not know it if you’re poor.," 8 Jan. 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

12 May 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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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