Synonym Chooser

How is the word dramatic distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of dramatic are histrionic, melodramatic, and theatrical. While all these words 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

In what contexts can histrionic take the place of dramatic?

Although the words histrionic and dramatic have much in common, histrionic applies to tones, gestures, and motions and suggests a deliberate affectation or staginess.

a histrionic show of grief

When would melodramatic be a good substitute for dramatic?

While in some cases nearly identical to dramatic, melodramatic suggests an exaggerated emotionalism or an inappropriate theatricalism.

made a melodramatic plea

When can theatrical be used instead of dramatic?

While the synonyms theatrical and dramatic are close in meaning, theatrical implies a crude appeal through artificiality or exaggeration in gesture or vocal expression.

a theatrical oration

Thesaurus Entries Near dramatic

Cite this Entry

“Dramatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dramatic. Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

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