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

It's been nearly 24 years since Clueless first made its theatrical debut, but the classic film continues to inspire our modern-day wardrobes. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "K-swiss Created Two "Clueless"-Inspired Sneakers," 11 May 2019 Full-On Fringe For a theatrical look that paired perfectly with her gorgeous Monique Lhuillier gown and floral headpiece (crafted by Jeannie Huang), makeup artist Emi Kaneko used falsies on Lee's top and bottom lashes. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "The Dramatic False Eyelash Trend Proves the Beauty World Is Ready to Bold Again," 7 May 2019 Tony Duquette and Renzo Mongiardino both crafted highly theatrical rooms—often over the top but always chic, exuberant, and utterly transportive. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "Behold the Campiest Rooms of All Time," 7 May 2019 New York The most important theatrical event of the year to date is the Irish Repertory Theatre’s decision to devote the second half of its season to the works of Seán O’Casey. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "‘The Plough and the Stars’ Review: No Glory in War," 2 May 2019 There are top-level celebs, insanely theatrical outfits, and the after-parties always provide some pretty juicy drama. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About the 2019 Met Gala: "Camp: Notes on Fashion"," 25 Apr. 2019 Most Read Business Stories Disney said movies would become available on its streaming service only after the traditional theatrical release period and home movie debut, which includes DVDs and purchasing streaming videos. Michael Liedtke, The Seattle Times, "Disney unveils new streaming service to debut late this year," 14 Apr. 2019 In most instances, this means camp is about the theatrical, the synthetic, and the bizarre—all of which are excellent ideas to bring into your accessories this spring. Vogue, "Some Notes on Spring’s Campiest Accessories," 10 Apr. 2019 The theatrical experience can greatly enhance your encounter with art like this. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Roma is coming to Netflix on Friday. You should still see it in a theater.," 11 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Orlando will be the last of three SeaWorld parks to end the theatrical shows, probably late next year. By Marjie Lambert, miamiherald, "Hi-tech, immersive worlds and big franchises highlight Florida theme parks’ evolution," 19 May 2017 But our commitment is to theatrical and big presentations, and so is [Cannes’s]. Rebecca Keegan, HWD, "Does Cannes Still Matter?," 16 May 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

18 May 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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