[ sen-tuh-men-tal-i-tee ]
/ 藢s蓻n t蓹 m蓻n藞t忙l 瑟 ti /
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noun, plural sen路ti路men路tal路i路ties.
the quality or state of being sentimental or excessively sentimental.
an instance of being sentimental.
a sentimental act, gesture, expression, etc.
Should you take this quiz on 鈥渟hall鈥 versus 鈥渟hould鈥? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of sentimentality

First recorded in 1760鈥70; sentimental + -ity

synonym study for sentimentality

See sentiment.

OTHER WORDS FROM sentimentality

o路ver路sen路ti路men路tal路i路ty, noun


sentiment, sentimentality (see synonym study at sentiment)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022


What does聽sentimentality mean?

Sentimentality is the state or quality of being sentimental鈥攅xpressing, appealing to, or being moved by sensitive or tender emotions, such as love, nostalgia, or pity.

Sentiment, sentimentality, and other related words (like sentimentalism, which can be used as a synonym of sentimentality) are based on the sense of the word sentiment that refers to sensitive or tender emotions, sensitivity to such emotions, or appeal to such emotions.

Such terms are especially used to imply that these emotions are exaggerated or overindulged. Sometimes, they imply that these emotions get in the way of thinking logically or being realistic.

In this way, sentimentality often means being overly sentimental.

People are sometimes criticized for sentimentality, as in Your sentimentality makes you see things through rose-colored glasses, instead of seeing what they鈥檙e really like.聽聽

These kinds of criticisms are especially common in the context of art. For example, a book or film may be criticized for its sentimentality in dealing with a historical event. This implies that it portrays the event in an idealized, simplistic, or nostalgic way instead of depicting it accurately and dealing with what really happened.

Such works might also be described as melodramatic. When they鈥檙e tearfully or weakly emotional, they might be described as maudlin, mawkish, sappy, or weepy. Hallmark holiday movies are known for their sentimentality.

Example: His sentimentality is what makes him keep all of his childhood toys.

Where does聽sentimentality come from?

The first records of the word sentimentality come from around 1770. The word sentimental is first recorded only slightly earlier, in the mid-1700s. The word sentiment is first recorded in the 1300s and comes from the Latin verb sent墨(re), meaning 鈥渢o feel.鈥 The suffix -ity indicates state or condition and is used to form abstract nouns.

Books and movies based on sentimentality are intended to make you feel all the feels鈥攖o have an emotional impact, especially one that makes you cry. Sometimes, though, this kind of sentimentality comes at the expense of a realistic story or believable characters. When it鈥檚 done simply for emotional effect like this, it鈥檚 often called cheap sentimentality.

Still, sentimentality isn鈥檛 always viewed negatively. When a person exhibits sentimentality, it often means they are sensitive to their own emotions and to those of others. That focus on feelings like tenderness might mean they express love very openly.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to sentimentality?

What are some synonyms for sentimentality?

What are some words that share a root or word element with sentimentality?聽

What are some words that often get used in discussing sentimentality?

How is聽sentimentality used in real life?

Sentimentality often refers to a quality of people and works of art. In the context of art, it鈥檚 often used in criticisms of works that are considered overly sentimental.



Try using聽sentimentality!

Which of the following words would NOT be used to describe something considered an example of sentimentality?

A. realistic
B. maudlin
C. cloying
D. sappy

How to use sentimentality in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for sentimentality

/ (藢s蓻nt瑟m蓻n藞t忙l瑟t瑟) /

noun plural -ties
the state, quality, or an instance of being sentimental
an act, statement, etc, that is sentimental
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012