dra·ma·tize | \ˈdra-mə-ˌtīz, ˈdrä- \
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 \-ˌtī-zə-bəl \ 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

De Palma’s announcement is the latest in what hopefully does not become a trend: older white men taking the lead in dramatizing the scandals that have come to define the #MeToo movement. refinery29.com, "Can Someone Tell This Male Director To Stay Away From A #MeToo Horror Movie?," 2 June 2018 Trained as an animator, Kofmel cites Joshua Oppenheimer's 2012 Oscar nominee The Act of Killing as a formal inspiration on her debut feature, with its stylized visuals and dramatized reconstructions. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Chris the Swiss': Film Review | Cannes 2018," 22 May 2018 Moreover, a pair of tragicomic scenes centered on the fragility of Al’s equipment set a template for generations of self-dramatizing filmmakers. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Self-Dramatizing Style of Morris Engel," 30 Mar. 2018 For the past two years, Netflix’s The Crown has dramatized the lives, and secrets, of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and the British royal family. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Might Be Fans of The Crown," 19 Mar. 2018 For many years, Wohlleben led these tours himself, using lively, vivid, emotional phrasing to dramatize the largely inscrutable, ultra-slow-motion life of trees. Diàna Markosian, Smithsonian, "Do Trees Talk to Each Other?," 22 Feb. 2018 Cole received an Emmy Award for her role in ABC's smash hit 1977 drama based on African-American writer Alex Haley's book Roots, which dramatized the lives of his ancestors from West Africa to slavery and post-Civil War America. Lynn Elber, USA TODAY, "Olivia Cole, Emmy-winning 'Roots' star, dies at age 75," 25 Jan. 2018 Avoid photos that graphically or intentionally dramatize thinness. Carolyn Kylstra, SELF, "How Should a Health Brand Talk About Weight?," 25 June 2018 The cliché of the mad artist is such a staple of this genre that what Deluc and Cassel are attempting to dramatize here – a fusing of the outlaw and the artist – can easily be undervalued. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti' chronicles Gauguin’s desire to see a new way," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for dramatize

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for dramatize

The first known use of dramatize was in 1783

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More Definitions for dramatize



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, 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

More from Merriam-Webster on dramatize

Spanish Central: Translation of dramatize

Nglish: Translation of dramatize for Spanish Speakers

Comments on dramatize

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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