noun (used with a singular or plural verb)

dramatic representation; theatricals; acting.
behavior or speech for effect, as insincere or exaggerated expression of an emotion; dramatics; operatics: Cut out the histrionics—we know you're not really mad.

Nearby words

  1. histotoxic anoxia,
  2. histotrophic,
  3. histotropic,
  4. histrionic,
  5. histrionic personality disorder,
  6. hit,
  7. hit a snag,
  8. hit batsman,
  9. hit below the belt,
  10. hit between the eyes

Origin of histrionics

First recorded in 1860–65; see origin at histrionic, -ics

Can be confusedhysterics histrionics



adjective Also his·tri·on·i·cal.

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for histrionics

British Dictionary definitions for histrionics




excessively dramatic, insincere, or artificialhistrionic gestures
rare dramatic


(plural) melodramatic displays of temperament
rare (plural, functioning as singular) dramatics
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 histrionics
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper