adjective dra·mat·ic \ drə-ˈma-tik \
|Updated on: 4 Aug 2018

Definition of dramatic

1 literature : of or relating to the drama
  • a dramatic actor
2 a : 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


play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of dramatic in a Sentence

  1. His parents noticed a dramatic change in his behavior.

  2. There was a dramatic increase in prices.

  3. The book tells the dramatic story of her battle with cancer.

  4. She made a dramatic entrance wearing a bright red dress.

  5. There was a dramatic pause before his big announcement.

  6. The painter used dramatic colors.

  7. They are members of the local dramatic society.

Recent Examples of dramatic from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of dramatic

see drama

Synonym Discussion of 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

DRAMATIC Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of dramatic for English Language Learners

  • : sudden and extreme

  • : greatly affecting people's emotions

  • : attracting attention : causing people to carefully listen, look, etc.

DRAMATIC Defined for Kids


adjective dra·mat·ic \ drə-ˈma-tik \

Definition of dramatic for Students

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


\-ti-kə-lē\ adverb

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