Synonym Chooser

How is the word histrionic distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of histrionic are dramatic, melodramatic, and theatrical. While all these words mean "having a character or an effect like that of acted plays," histrionic applies to tones, gestures, and motions and suggests a deliberate affectation or staginess.

a histrionic show of grief

When could dramatic be used to replace histrionic?

The synonyms dramatic and histrionic are sometimes interchangeable, but dramatic applies to situations in life and literature that stir the imagination and emotions deeply.

a dramatic meeting of world leaders

Where would melodramatic be a reasonable alternative to histrionic?

In some situations, the words melodramatic and histrionic are roughly equivalent. However, melodramatic suggests an exaggerated emotionalism or an inappropriate theatricalism.

made a melodramatic plea

When is it sensible to use theatrical instead of histrionic?

The meanings of theatrical and histrionic largely overlap; however, theatrical implies a crude appeal through artificiality or exaggeration in gesture or vocal expression.

a theatrical oration


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Cite this Entry

“Histrionic.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

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