from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to actors or acting.
  • adj. Excessively dramatic or emotional; affected.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, or relating to actors or acting
  • adj. Excessively dramatic or emotional, especially with the intention to draw attention.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or relating to the stage or a stageplayer; befitting a theatre; theatrical.
  • adj. Affectedly dramatic; insincerely emotional; -- sometimes used in a bad sense.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to actors or acting; befitting the stage; theatrical; hence, feigned for effect; unreal.
  • n. A dramatic performer; a stage-player.
  • n. plural The art of theatrical representation; dramatic manner or expression: as, the histrionics of a stump-speaker.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characteristic of acting or a stage performance; often affected


Late Latin histriōnicus, from Latin histriō, histriōn-, actor, probably of Etruscan origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin histriōnicus ("pertaining to acting"), from Latin histriō ("actor"). (Wiktionary)


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  • unreal

    March 25, 2013

  • "'Back, ladies and gents, back, I beg of you!" The showman's voice was pompous and histrionic." From Perdido Street Station by China Mieville.

    September 27, 2011

  • Sorry jennaren. I have the flu today & my comments are weirder than normal.

    February 11, 2008

  • jennaren? The name sounds slightly familiar. Are you new? Welcome to wordie jennaren! No need for HISTRIONICS! We'll get to know you - all in good time my pretty.

    February 11, 2008

  • See histrionically, where I WAS NOT MENTIONED EVEN ONCE!!!!!

    February 11, 2008