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

Teen drama has permeated TV for more than 30 years and writers have always dramatized teenager turmoil in a way that’s arguably more sophisticated than what most of their real-life pimply counterparts can relate to. chicagotribune.com, "TV showrunners tinker with language when writing for Gen Z," 19 Aug. 2019 The Terror’ will be a groundbreaking telling of this chapter of American history, because no other film or television series has explored and dramatized this so powerfully, and on a massive scale. Taylor Weik, NBC News, "AMC's 'The Terror: Infamy' brings the horror of Japanese American internment to life," 7 Aug. 2019 But The Last Czars, a six-part docu-drama created for Netflix by production company Nutopia, uses documentary-style clips of historians and dramatized scenes with actors to tell the story of Russia's last Romanov emperor, Czar Nicholas II. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "The Fascinating Reason Why 'The Last Czars' Actors Don't Talk With Russian Accents," 13 July 2019 The gamble paid off: The HBO/Sky Atlantic miniseries, which dramatizes the 1986 nuclear accident and its aftermath, emerged as an unlikely hit, with more than 9 million viewers, plus 6.5 million downloads or views of its companion podcast. Matt Brennan, latimes.com, "No one is more surprised by ‘Chernobyl’s’ success than creator Craig Mazin," 19 June 2019 In the second episode, set in a luxurious home in the south of France, Mr. Nicholls establishes the sadistic tendencies of Mr. Melrose’s father David (played by Hugo Weaving) by dramatizing a fleeting memory of the family maid. Tobias Grey, WSJ, "In ‘Patrick Melrose,’ the Heroin Addict Is Born With a Silver Spoon in His Mouth," 9 May 2018 While most mainstream portrayals of Asia tend to dramatize its essential differences from the West with as much anxiety as condescension, The Farewell allows for no easy lines between American liberalism and Asian communitarianism. Zoë Hu, The New Republic, "Crazy Sad Asians," 27 Aug. 2019 Or, at least the aspects of his life being dramatized (or fictionalized) aren't. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Wish Man': Film Review," 23 July 2019 Radu Jude is the only filmmaker to dramatize that distinction. Armond White, National Review, "Radu Jude’s Barbarians Is the Most Daring Movie of the Year," 17 July 2019

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

7 Oct 2019

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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 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

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).


suitable to be imparted to the public

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