sen·​ti·​men·​tal·​i·​ty | \ ˌsen-tə-ˌmen-ˈta-lə-tē , -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

Voters passed it over last year, but could put it back among the nominees for its final season, a nod that would have nothing to do with sentimentality. Glenn Whipp,, "Emmy voters will likely keep drama to a minimum this year," 23 May 2018 Such devices, and the film as a whole, threaten to slip into sentimentality. Peter Keough,, "‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ is an invitation not to be passed up," 31 May 2018 Many of her stories live at the intersection of being poor but also being perceived as a walking womb, and are told in a matter-of-fact way that is void of judgment or sentimentality. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 15 Nov. 2018 Mark, sung with authority by baritone Christopher Maltman, is a very 1950s mix of aggression and sentimentality. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘Marnie’ Review: A Thief’s Secrets," 22 Oct. 2018 Chance selected a set that was heavy on sentimentality and light on hits, which makes sense given his home setting of Chicago, but doesn't always translate for a headlining set. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "Track all the Chicago artists at Lollapalooza," 7 Aug. 2017 Lonergan renders this problem with an unwavering gaze and no false sentimentality. Adam Green, Vogue, "With a Bushel of New Film Roles—and a Broadway Debut—Lucas Hedges Is Learning to Love the Spotlight," 24 Sep. 2018 Sullivan fills the show with sugar-a surfeit of sweet, innocent, very hummable tunes—and then Gilbert sprinkles on lots of salt, barbed lyrics that wittily undercut Sullivan's sentimentality. Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader, "After 139 years, Pirates of Penzance is still a satisfying combination of sweet and salty," 27 June 2018 Within months after the new building opened, that sentimentality faded. Sam Donnellon,, "As Philadelphia changes, Wells Fargo Center tries to change with it," 7 June 2018

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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Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for sentimentality

The first known use of sentimentality was in 1770

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English Language Learners Definition of sentimentality

: the quality of being sentimental especially in an excessive way

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