sen·​ti·​men·​tal·​i·​ty | \ ˌsen-tə-ˌmen-ˈta-lə-tē How to pronounce sentimentality (audio) , -mən- \
plural sentimentalities

Definition of sentimentality

1 : the quality or state of being sentimental especially to excess or in affectation
2 : a sentimental idea or its expression

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Examples of sentimentality in a Sentence

the sentimentality of Romantic poetry the sentimentality of the story of star-crossed lovers only made it even more popular with moviegoers
Recent Examples on the Web Aided by its deft performances, the film manages its tricky emotional territory with aplomb, rarely dipping into sentimentality or easy conciliations. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, "Review: A bird inspires Naomi Watts in family drama ‘Penguin Bloom’," 27 Jan. 2021 The fear that Bloom will turn the Red Sox into Rays North — constantly churning the roster and trading popular players like Blake Snell without a flicker of sentimentality — is overblown. Globe Staff,, "Why the Red Sox should not trade Andrew Benintendi," 14 Jan. 2021 Wit has been replaced by feverish caricature, feeling by sentimentality, and Wonder Woman is left with almost nothing to do for long stretches of a very long and disjointed story. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Review: Wishfulness Run Riot," 21 Dec. 2020 This may not be the smug sentimentality of the memoir’s psychiatrists, who are eager to congratulate Howland for submitting to their expert care. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "What a Lost Psych-Ward Memoir Teaches Us About Madness," 5 Jan. 2021 The truth in the work, the complete absence of sentimentality, is stunning, with Maud by turns irritating, aggressive, endearing, frantic, and, on occasion, funny. Matthew Gilbert,, "‘Elizabeth Is Missing’ is a searing portrait of dementia wrapped in a murder mystery," 30 Dec. 2020 The end-of-year sentimentality is steadily welling up (this year more than ever). Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Little Women," 18 Dec. 2020 The author brooks no sentimentality, especially once Kirabo goes to live with her father, his wife and their children in the city. Bethanne Patrick, Washington Post, "‘A Girl Is a Body of Water’ is a poignant coming-of-age tale about women’s hard-won wisdom," 22 Sep. 2020 The droll singer-songwriter behind Magnetic Fields spices up the Christmas ballad in his typical way, mixing morbid wit with flashes of sentimentality. Jody Rosen, Los Angeles Times, "The 50 best Christmas songs of the last 50 years," 14 Dec. 2020

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

1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sentimentality

Time Traveler

The first known use of sentimentality was in 1770

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Statistics for sentimentality

Last Updated

9 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sentimentality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for sentimentality



English Language Learners Definition of sentimentality

: the quality of being sentimental especially in an excessive way

More from Merriam-Webster on sentimentality

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sentimentality

Nglish: Translation of sentimentality for Spanish Speakers

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