dra·​ma·​tize | \ ˈdra-mə-ˌtīz How to pronounce dramatize (audio) , ˈdrä- How to pronounce dramatize (audio) \
dramatized; dramatizing

Definition of dramatize

transitive verb

1 : to adapt (something, such as a novel) for theatrical presentation
2 : to present or represent in a dramatic manner

intransitive verb

1 : to be suitable for dramatization
2 : to behave dramatically

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Other Words from dramatize

dramatizable \ ˈdra-​mə-​ˌtī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce dramatizable (audio) , ˈdrä-​ \ adjective

Examples of dramatize in a Sentence

The movie dramatizes her early life. The book is dramatized in a new play. I know I tend to dramatize things but it really was awful. She cited a series of statistics to dramatize the seriousness of the problem. This tragedy dramatizes the need for improvements in highway safety.
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Recent Examples on the Web Thinking the choice of San Francisco might dramatize the Pacific war, which was still raging, Roosevelt agreed. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "When the world made peace in San Francisco," 26 June 2020 Those who wanted to dramatize the moment would have feigned surprise and said this outcome was unbelievable. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Jeff Okudah looks like a made-up Madden video game character. Now Lions are counting on him," 26 Apr. 2020 Throbbing Gristle played cacophonous and sometimes grating music intended to dramatize impressions of modern life. Alec Wilkinson, The New Yorker, "Industrial Music for Industrial People: The Singular Legacy of Genesis P-Orridge," 21 Mar. 2020 Lawrence knew, too, how to use color and cropped vectors (fists, swords, guns) to dramatize every square inch. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "These ‘missing’ Jacob Lawrence paintings are finally in a museum — and they’re masterpieces," 24 Jan. 2020 DuVernay uses that framework to dramatize some of the most significant moments in the history of the Civil Rights Movement, including the murder, at the hands of white supremacists, of four little girls in a Birmingham church in 1963. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The 10 Best Movies of the 2010s," 13 Nov. 2019 Death in Venice paradoxically dramatizes Aschenbach’s loss of innocence, a new awareness of forces long repressed. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Set in a gathering epidemic, Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’ is newly timely," 15 Apr. 2020 The exceptions to this pattern dramatize the thinness and danger of a customer-service model of politics that can easily morph into messianic authoritarianism. Time, "The Democrats Need to Sing a New Tune to Beat Trump," 6 Mar. 2020 To watch de Wilde's movie dramatize Austen's corrosive and gentle sides, sometimes in the very same instant, was a revelation. Ted Scheinman, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Autumn de Wilde’s ‘Emma’ Gets Right About Jane Austen’s Irony," 5 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dramatize.' 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 dramatize

1783, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for dramatize

Time Traveler

The first known use of dramatize was in 1783

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Statistics for dramatize

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dramatize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dramatize. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for dramatize


How to pronounce dramatize (audio) How to pronounce dramatize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dramatize

: to make (a book, an event, etc.) into a play, movie, television show, etc.
: to make a situation seem more important or serious than it really is
: to show (something that might not be noticed) in a clear and effective way


dra·​ma·​tize | \ ˈdra-mə-ˌtīz How to pronounce dramatize (audio) , ˈdrä- \
dramatized; dramatizing

Kids Definition of dramatize

1 : to make into a play, movie, or other show The TV show dramatized the musician's life.
2 : to present in a way that attracts attention The accident dramatized the need for greater safety measures.

Other Words from dramatize

dramatization \ ˌdra-​mə-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən , ˌdrä-​ \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on dramatize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dramatize

Spanish Central: Translation of dramatize

Nglish: Translation of dramatize for Spanish Speakers

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