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[dram-uh-tahyz, drah-muh-]
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verb (used with object), dram·a·tized, dram·a·tiz·ing.
  1. to put into a form suitable for acting on a stage.
  2. to express or represent vividly, emotionally, or strikingly: He dramatizes his woes with sobs and sighs.
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verb (used without object), dram·a·tized, dram·a·tiz·ing.
  1. to express oneself in a dramatic or exaggerated way.
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Also especially British, dram·a·tise.

Origin of dramatize

1770–80; < Greek drāmat- (see dramatic) + -ize
Related formsdram·a·tiz·a·ble, adjectivedram·a·tiz·er, nouno·ver·dram·a·tize, verb, o·ver·dram·a·tized, o·ver·dram·a·tiz·ing.un·dram·a·tiz·a·ble, adjectiveun·dram·a·tized, adjectivewell-dram·a·tized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for dramatize



  1. (tr) to put into dramatic form
  2. to express or represent (something) in a dramatic or exaggerated wayhe dramatizes his illness
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Derived Formsdramatizable or dramatisable, adjectivedramatizer or dramatiser, noun
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

Word Origin and History for dramatize


1780s, "to adopt for the stage," see drama (Greek stem dramat-) + -ize. Meaning "to act out" is from 1823. Related: Dramatized; dramatizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper