plural noun
the·​at·​rics | \ thē-ˈa-triks How to pronounce theatrics (audio) \

Definition of theatrics

2 : staged or contrived effects

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Examples of theatrics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The MTV Movie & TV Awards are known for being a lot less formal than the Oscars with more theatrics. Nick Romano,, "Leslie Jones to host MTV Movie & TV Awards: 'Get ready for some fun, y'all!'," 28 Apr. 2021 Stripped of its theatrics, their story is typical: Their union is disintegrating in the shadow of an affair. Maya Binyam, Vulture, "Esther Perel Goes Off Script," 13 Apr. 2021 Bardugo knows when to let the action roar, when to let emotions run high, and when to chase the theatrics with a wink and a smile. Washington Post, "Leigh Bardugo’s ‘Rule of Wolves’ is the latest action-packed installment in the Grishaverse saga," 8 Apr. 2021 The theatrics were performed with the media present. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, "US Treasury Yields Give Asia Altitude Sickness, Week In Review," 19 Mar. 2021 This cements her position as a centerpiece in the franchise, but her interest in participating in the greater theatrics of the show seems to have waned. Shamira Ibrahim, Vulture, "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," 18 Apr. 2021 But even as the court engages in these theatrics of performative justice, there are important and lasting changes to our nation’s legal mechanics being wrought. Katherine Stewart, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court’s Religious Persecution Complex," 9 Apr. 2021 Republicans have so far resisted the demands for gun legislation, with Sen. Ted Cruz accusing Democrats of engaging in theatrics when a tragedy occurs. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "Tucker Carlson slams Obama as 'racial arsonist' in response to statement on Boulder shooting," 24 Mar. 2021 While the Chinese officials protested that the opening criticism by Blinken and Sullivan was no way to treat guests, a senior U.S. official said afterward that the Chinese were intent on grandstanding and engaging in theatrics over substance. Time, "Biden Administration's First U.S.-China Meeting Quickly Descends Into Bickering," 19 Mar. 2021

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

1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for theatrics

Time Traveler

The first known use of theatrics was in 1807

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Statistics for theatrics

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Theatrics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for theatrics



English Language Learners Definition of theatrics

chiefly US
often disapproving : ways of behaving and speaking that are like a performance on a stage and are intended to attract attention

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