Thesaurus

theatrical

adjective
variants: also theatric

Synonyms & Antonyms of theatrical

1 given to or marked by attention-getting behavior suggestive of stage acting
  • after stepping out of their hired limousine, the prom couple made a theatrical entrance in their evening clothes

Synonyms for theatrical

Words Related to theatrical

Near Antonyms for theatrical

Antonyms for theatrical

2 having the general quality or effect of a stage performance
  • in a very theatrical voice the actress announced to the gathering that she did not sign autographs

Synonyms for theatrical

Words Related to theatrical

Near Antonyms for theatrical

Antonyms for theatrical

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About theatrical

How is the word theatrical distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of theatrical are dramatic, histrionic, and melodramatic. While all these words mean "having a character or an effect like that of acted plays," theatrical implies a crude appeal through artificiality or exaggeration in gesture or vocal expression.

a theatrical oration

When would dramatic be a good substitute for theatrical?

While in some cases nearly identical to theatrical, dramatic applies to situations in life and literature that stir the imagination and emotions deeply.

a dramatic meeting of world leaders

When might histrionic be a better fit than theatrical?

The synonyms histrionic and theatrical are sometimes interchangeable, but histrionic applies to tones, gestures, and motions and suggests a deliberate affectation or staginess.

a histrionic show of grief

When is it sensible to use melodramatic instead of theatrical?

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

made a melodramatic plea

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about theatrical

Time Traveler for theatrical

Time Traveler

The first known use of theatrical was in 1558

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Theatrical.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/theatrical. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on theatrical

Dictionary: Definition of theatrical

Nglish: Translation of theatrical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of theatrical for Arabic Speakers

Comments on theatrical

What made you want to look up theatrical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!