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 theatric (audio) \

Definition of theatrical

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the theater or the presentation of plays a theatrical costume
2 : marked by pretense or artificiality of emotion
3a : histrionic a theatrical gesture
b : marked by extravagant display or exhibitionism

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for theatrical

Synonyms: Adjective

dramatic, hammy, histrionic, melodramatic, stagy (or stagey)

Antonyms: Adjective

undramatic

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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

The all-encompassing success of Netflix, a company that largely spurns the theatrical experience, has become something of a boogeyman for major studios. David Sims, The Atlantic, "What Quentin Tarantino’s Box-Office Success Says About Hollywood," 29 July 2019 Grotowski argued for a stripping away of artifice in favor of putting the actor and their performance at the center of the theatrical experience. Manuel Mendoza, Dallas News, "There was none better than Katherine Owens, whose brilliant career at Undermain Theatre ends at 61," 23 July 2019 Harriet — written by Lemmons and Remember the Titans scribe Gregory Allen Howard — is scheduled for theatrical release on Nov. 1. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, "Cynthia Erivo stuns in riveting Harriet Tubman biopic trailer," 23 July 2019 More than 1,400 people turned out for the theatrical reveal in a gargantuan war-era blimp hangar, including media, dealers, customers, Chevrolet and GM executives, and two famed astronauts. San Diego Union-Tribune, "2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray debut a moon shot," 23 July 2019 And the culture seems generalized, a theatrical nowhere pretending to be a western somewhere. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Apple Season’ suggests you can always go home again, but should you?," 23 July 2019 Though Disney+ series will presumably allow each to shine outside the more rigidly controlled confines of theatrical film projects, utilizing the characters in this way eschews any real risk. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "How Marvel Is Betting Big on Disney+ in Phase Four," 22 July 2019 Now, theatrical earnings are down just over 7%, according to Comscore. Rebecca Rubin, chicagotribune.com, "‘The Lion King’ rules with $185 million debut," 21 July 2019 Two months prior, Jessica had married her first husband, theatrical producer Eric Nederlander. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Jerry Seinfeld's Wife Jessica Addresses the Controversial Way They Met," 19 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

California becomes the first state to ban the breeding of killer whales and the use of them in theatrical shows. San Diego Union-Tribune, "SeaWorld: a decade of turbulence and triumphs," 22 June 2019 The criticisms are not unlike the kind of sharp verbal attacks PETA has leveled at SeaWorld over the years about the parks’ captive orcas and their participation in theatrical shows. Sam Hodgson/the San Diego Union-tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, "PETA’s latest demand: End ‘circus-style’ dolphin shows at SeaWorld," 5 June 2019 The Tony Awards are here, and with 10 nominations under its belt and record-breaking box office numbers since its debut in the U.S. on April 22, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a theatrical must for Muggles and wizards alike. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Broadway's 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'," 10 June 2018 My wheelhouse is much more magic mystery theatrical based. Nicole Pajer, Billboard, "'Lip Sync Battle Live': Hailee Steinfeld, Laverne Cox, Taraji P. Henson & Neil Patrick Harris Tackle the King of Pop," 19 Jan. 2018 To be able to celebrate last night the span of theatrical with Evan Hansen to electronic with Kraftwerk to alternative and pop with Portugal. Colin Stutz, Billboard, "Atlantic's Julie Greenwald on Celebrating Label's 13 Grammy Wins: 'I Haven't Felt This Way Since College'," 29 Jan. 2018 So much theatrical happens in the piece, verging on aural cartooning, that some in the audience took Baker’s announcement as part of the composition, reacting with chuckles. Alan G. Artner, chicagotribune.com, "Talea Ensemble opens Contempo series with rare, exceptional program," 28 Oct. 2017 But studios have countered that theatrical has become a larger share of the revenue because of the collapse in DVD sales, one of the people said. Fortune, "This Map Will Show You the World’s Most Expensive Stock Markets," 19 Aug. 2017 There’s a lot of debate with filmmakers over streaming vs. theatrical. Jon Niccum, kansascity, "Thanks, Netflix: Here’s where to find acclaimed movies shot by KC filmmakers," 3 Aug. 2017

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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Statistics for theatrical

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for theatrical

The first known use of theatrical was in 1558

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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

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