adjective1 : deliberately affected : theatrical 2 : of or relating to actors, acting, or the theater
The candidate declared that he would not stoop to address his opponent’s histrionic and patently untrue accusations.
“When we listen in on one-sided telephone conversations in the movies, often the behavior is not quite human. Rather, it becomes an actor’s showcase for histrionic tears or smiling through tears—a good old-fashioned wallow in capital-O Overacting.” — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, January 16, 2015
Did you know?
The term histrionic developed from histrio, Latin for “actor.” Something that is histrionic tends to remind one of the high drama of stage and screen and is often stagy and over-the-top. It especially calls to mind the theatrical form known as melodrama, where plot and physical action, not characterization, are emphasized. But something that is histrionic isn’t always overdone; the word can also describe actors, acting, or the theater, and in that sense it becomes a synonym of thespian. The related plural noun histrionics is similarly bifurcated. It can refer to either theatrical performances or to a deliberate display of emotion for effect.