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90s Slang You Should Know


[his-tree-on-ik] /ˌhɪs triˈɒn ɪk/
adjective, Also, histrionical
of or relating to actors or acting.
deliberately affected or self-consciously emotional; overly dramatic, in behavior or speech.
an actor.
Origin of histrionic
1640-50; < Late Latin histrōnicus of actors, equivalent to histriōn- (stem of histriō) actor (said to be < Etruscan) + -icus -ic
Related forms
histrionically, adverb
nonhistrionic, adjective
nonhistrionical, adjective
nonhistrionically, adverb
nonhistrionicalness, noun
unhistrionic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for histrionic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Knew that what Keeley Moore said in this histrionic manner was, almost always, merely bluff.

    The Deep Lake Mystery Carolyn Wells
  • Aubertin admired his histrionic powers in calling up this look.

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • Shaliapin does not merely throw himself into the part, to use a phrase commonly applied to the histrionic art.

    The Russian Opera Rosa Newmarch
  • She had never forgotten her one histrionic achievement in Chicago.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • Here was a chance to show the public how great a histrionic genius had remained unknown for lack of an opportunity.

    Toaster's Handbook Peggy Edmund and Harold W. Williams, compilers
British Dictionary definitions for histrionic


excessively dramatic, insincere, or artificial: histrionic gestures
(rare) dramatic
(pl) melodramatic displays of temperament
(rare) (pl, functioning as singular) dramatics
Derived Forms
histrionically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin histriōnicus of a player, from histriō actor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for histrionic

"theatrical" (figuratively, "hypocritical"), 1640s, from Latin histrionicus "pertaining to an actor," from histrio (genitive histrionis) "actor," said to be of Etruscan origin. The literal sense in English is from 1759.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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