Definition of histrionic
- histrionic gestures
- a tendency to become histrionic
- seeking histrionic perfection
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a penchant for dish throwing, door slamming, and other histrionic displays of temper
we never tired of his histrionic reenactment of how he found money under the floorboards of a house he was renovating
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The term "histrionic" developed from "histrio," Latin for actor. Something that is "histrionic" tends to remind one of the high drama of stage and screen and is often stagy and over-the-top. It especially calls to mind the theatrical form known as the "melodrama," where plot and physical action, not characterization, are emphasized. But something that is "histrionic" isn't always overdone; the word might simply refer to an actor or something related to the theater. In that sense, it becomes a synonym of "thespian."
First Known Use: 1648See Words from the same year
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