• synonyms


adjective Also his·tri·on·i·cal.
  1. of or relating to actors or acting.
  2. deliberately affected or self-consciously emotional; overly dramatic, in behavior or speech.
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  1. an actor.
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Origin of histrionic

1640–50; < Late Latin histrōnicus of actors, equivalent to histriōn- (stem of histriō) actor (said to be < Etruscan) + -icus -ic
Related formshis·tri·on·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·his·tri·on·ic, adjectivenon·his·tri·on·i·cal, adjectivenon·his·tri·on·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·his·tri·on·i·cal·ness, nounun·his·tri·on·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for histrionically

Historical Examples of histrionically

  • But histrionically it must be confessed that things dragged a little.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, January 19, 1916


  • As a result he was but histrionically master of himself when the Countess Livia or the nimbus of the lady appeared in the room.

  • True, she could act; she had been told by many a great impressario that histrionically she had no peer in grand opera.

  • That it be seriously done with a real intention of doing the thing, and not histrionically, ludicrously, or in jest.

    A Christian Directory

    Baxter Richard

British Dictionary definitions for histrionically



  1. excessively dramatic, insincere, or artificialhistrionic gestures
  2. rare dramatic
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  1. (plural) melodramatic displays of temperament
  2. rare (plural, functioning as singular) dramatics
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Derived Formshistrionically, adverb

Word Origin for histrionic

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

Word Origin and History for histrionically



"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper