theatrical

adjective
the·​at·​ri·​cal | \ thē-ˈa-tri-kəl How to pronounce theatrical (audio) \
variants: or less commonly theatric \ thē-​ˈa-​trik How to pronounce theatrical (audio) \

Definition of theatrical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to the theater or the presentation of plays a theatrical costume a theatrical troupe a powerful theatrical performance
b : of, relating to, or occurring in a movie theater the theatrical release of a new film "Give Me Liberty," the Milwaukee-made movie that received good notices at this year's Sundance Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival, will come home for its U.S. theatrical premiere, Aug. 22 at the Oriental Theatre.— Chris Foran
2 : having qualities suggestive of a stage play or of an actor's performance : deliberately or exaggeratedly dramatic or emotional : histrionic a theatrical gesture a theatrical way of speaking … pulls an enormous handkerchief from the inside breast pocket of his jacket and opens it with a theatrical flourish …— Robert Little

theatrical

noun

Definition of theatrical (Entry 2 of 2)

1 theatricals plural
a : the performance of plays
b : dramatics
2 British : a professional actor
3 theatricals plural : showy or extravagant gestures

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Other Words from theatrical

Adjective

theatricalism \ thē-​ˈa-​tri-​kə-​ˌli-​zəm How to pronounce theatrical (audio) \ noun
theatricality \ thē-​ˌa-​trə-​ˈka-​lə-​tē How to pronounce theatrical (audio) \ noun
theatrically \ thē-​ˈa-​tri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce theatrical (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for theatrical

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for theatrical

Adjective

dramatic, theatrical, histrionic, melodramatic mean having a character or an effect like that of acted plays. dramatic applies to situations in life and literature that stir the imagination and emotions deeply. a dramatic meeting of world leaders theatrical implies a crude appeal through artificiality or exaggeration in gesture or vocal expression. a theatrical oration histrionic applies to tones, gestures, and motions and suggests a deliberate affectation or staginess. a histrionic show of grief melodramatic suggests an exaggerated emotionalism or an inappropriate theatricalism. made a melodramatic plea

Examples of theatrical in a Sentence

Adjective a politician who has a highly theatrical manner of speaking after stepping out of their hired limousine, the prom couple made a theatrical entrance in their evening clothes
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To be fair, Tenet was never intended to be the theatrical savior. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 22 Sep. 2021 Dharma Productions have partnered for a theatrical and broadcast distribution slate. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 22 Sep. 2021 He was raised in London; his French father was a writer, and his Franco-Swiss mother a theatrical agent whose career was the inspiration for Desselle’s own. New York Times, 22 Sep. 2021 Shang-Chi’s performance confirmed that Disney should continue with theatrical launches for various other films this year, including Marvel’s Eternals. Chris Smith, BGR, 22 Sep. 2021 In both theatrical and cinematic forms, Dear Evan Hansen is a clever but convoluted story that utterly fails to resolve the thorny morality tale at its center. David Sims, The Atlantic, 21 Sep. 2021 Poorly directed, singers semaphore conventional, unconvincing theatrical gestures that turn them right back into stock opera characters. Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2021 The 40-seat theatrical space is situated on the ground floor with a bar, stage and options for both indoor and outdoor seating. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Sep. 2021 Levenson explained that some of the musical’s more theatrical devices — such as the use of Connor (played by Colton Ryan) as a ghostly presence all through the story — had to be de-emphasized. Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This came in the wake of a strong theatrical-only opening for Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which took in over $94 million during Labor Day weekend. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, 11 Sep. 2021 There will be fewer cinemas, but Silverman is confident that theatrical is not going away. Patrick Frater, Variety, 9 Sep. 2021 Once taboo, hybrid theatrical and streaming releases have become more normal for many of the biggest studios during the pandemic, with each adopting its own unique strategy. BostonGlobe.com, 29 July 2021 Once taboo, hybrid theatrical and streaming releases have become more normal for many of the biggest studios during the pandemic, with each adopting its own unique strategy. CBS News, 29 July 2021 Once taboo, hybrid theatrical and streaming releases have become more normal for many of the biggest studios during the pandemic, with each adopting its own unique strategy. Lindsey Bahr And Andrew Dalton, chicagotribune.com, 29 July 2021 However, this doesn’t mean Universal is throwing in the towel on theatrical. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 6 July 2021 Focus Features has set an October theatrical release. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2021 Riding Free episodic is a curious case for straight theatrical. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 6 June 2021

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

Adjective

1558, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

circa 1683, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for theatrical

Time Traveler

The first known use of theatrical was in 1558

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Dictionary Entries Near theatrical

theatre sister

theatrical

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Statistics for theatrical

Last Updated

25 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Theatrical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theatrical. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for theatrical

theatrical

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of theatrical

: of or relating to the theater
: behaving or done in a way that is meant to attract attention and that is often not genuine or sincere

theatrical

adjective
the·​at·​ri·​cal | \ thē-ˈa-tri-kəl How to pronounce theatrical (audio) \

Kids Definition of theatrical

: for or relating to the presentation of plays a theatrical production theatrical costumes

More from Merriam-Webster on theatrical

Nglish: Translation of theatrical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of theatrical for Arabic Speakers

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