Definition of histrionic in US English:

histrionic

adjective

  • 1Overly theatrical or melodramatic in character or style.

    ‘a histrionic outburst’
    • ‘Taking offence, making a show of it, is a peculiarly self-theatrical, melodramatic, histrionic gesture in the annals of criticism.’
    • ‘Buddy Guy's version of ‘Money’ is a great example of the extended guitar solo rock style - wonderfully histrionic.’
    • ‘Dubble pushed off into the air again and in a histrionic sally swung his arms open, as if to dramatize his explanation.’
    • ‘His histrionic oratorical style sometimes distracts from his message.’
    • ‘However, rereading what I consider rather histrionic bile, and, moreover, reading it carefully, is something I can put off for days.’
    • ‘Judge Smith became the target of a ‘borking,’ a campaign of histrionic criticism intended to block a presidential appointment.’
    • ‘Even by his own histrionic standards, O'Neill's reaction to the match-winning penalty in Lyon on Wednesday night laid bare his soul.’
    • ‘The fact is, I like histrionic piano breaks and corny melodic swoops, and I don't like rough-edged voices and rhythm guitars.’
    • ‘As Godard declares, in his own histrionic manner, the end of cinema is nigh.’
    • ‘Sung like this on the concert platform, it would sound histrionic; here it was entirely authentic.’
    • ‘Perhaps you think me melodramatic, or even histrionic.’
    • ‘Clarissa's quiet apotheosis is offered as an alternative to histrionic theatrics.’
    • ‘Thank God, it's also not ‘entertaining’ in the histrionic style of films such as Girl, Interrupted and A Beautiful Mind.’
    • ‘My friends hated these poems because the poems were crazy and because Bingo read them in a crazy, histrionic manner.’
    • ‘Possibly, this sympathy could appear somewhat self-indulgent, or over-dramatic, if not actually absurdly histrionic.’
    • ‘They have an unfair disadvantage when it comes to appreciating what you do, because they know all about you and your histrionic outbursts.’
    melodramatic, theatrical, affected, dramatic, exaggerated, actorly, actressy, stagy, showy, artificial, overacted, overdone, unnatural, mannered, stilted, unreal
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    1. 1.1formal Of or concerning actors or acting.
      ‘histrionic talents’
      • ‘The film could have explored the histrionic potential of Murali and Rakshita had the director treated the theme with more depth.’
      • ‘Realism got the better of histrionic melodrama in Waterloo, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's rather stiff one-act character sketch.’
      • ‘Spellbound inmates have been cheering every dialogue and applauding the histrionic skills of actors.’
      • ‘The film depends on the histrionic talents of Simbu who fills the screen from start to finish.’
      • ‘Students in these hostels have a lot of opportunities to develop their histrionic talents.’
      • ‘It is not imperative to prove my histrionic skills in Hindi.’
      • ‘The talented actor, Jeremy Irons, rarely gets an opportunity to express his true histrionic skills in the tumults movie.’
      • ‘Anto put his histrionic skills to the test by acting in certain productions of Kalidasa Kalakendram and the film ‘Kuttavaali.’’
      • ‘If political parties want to use their histrionic talents, why not?’
      • ‘I was no more impressed by this histrionic performance than I was when the actor went into a ‘holy trance’ as part of his routine.’
      • ‘So expect a dramatic, theatrical, even histrionic week in which others might surprise you by declining to act out the roles you've cast them in.’
      • ‘Mary got her groove back with last year's No More Drama, a stellar R&B album that played with melodrama but never flew into histrionic territory.’
      • ‘Her histrionic skills aside, the fact that she has an ‘ordinary’ face helps her blend well into the fabric of off-beat films too, she says.’
      • ‘A little natural histrionic talent and lots of luck are what you require to make it big on the silver screen.’
      • ‘The director, Gurudanapal, says Satyaraj gets maximum mileage of the story with his histrionic and comedy talent.’
      • ‘Appa the comrade was one such character, which really put to test his histrionic prowess.’
      • ‘It also works because of Don Cheadle's subdued yet intense performance which sidesteps every histrionic outburst that his part invites.’
      • ‘While attempting to create a visually striking performance, Kosky tends to exaggerate these elements, giving it a rather histrionic quality.’
      • ‘Her captivating beauty and histrionic talent add to her persona.’
      • ‘Their melodramatic arrangements, cascading strings and faintly histrionic vocal performances reflected the films' camp excesses.’
    2. 1.2Psychiatry Denoting a personality disorder marked by shallow volatile emotions and attention-seeking behavior.
      • ‘However, conduct problems at study entry did not significantly affect the risk for major depression or histrionic personality disorders in adulthood.’
      • ‘The survey found no gender differences in the prevalence of obsessive-compulsive, schizoid, or histrionic personality disorders.’
      • ‘And you risk being labeled as having a narcissistic or histrionic personality disorder.’
      • ‘Do you think every person with a histrionic personality disorder is going to step down from the public eye when their time is up?’
      • ‘People with histrionic personality disorder are constant attention seekers.’

noun

  • 1histrionicsExaggerated dramatic behavior designed to attract attention.

    ‘discussions around the issue have been based as much in histrionics as in history’
    • ‘There have been no confrontations or histrionics, but there's plenty of time and I'm sure they'll happen.’
    • ‘Frankly, I'm not that impressed by his histrionics here.’
    • ‘Also there was Ray D' Arcy whose urgings had the crowd performing all sorts of histrionics in the name of art.’
    • ‘A fine sentiment, but the doom-laden rock histrionics leave a bad taste in the mouth.’
    • ‘But his dominance, like Smiley's, arises from a quiet natural authority that disdains the tasteless excesses of ostentation and histrionics.’
    • ‘She has a penchant for histrionics, but her dramatic flair is a large part of her charm.’
    • ‘Even Daffy Duck's avaricious histrionics are amusing in a buffoonish way.’
    • ‘Despite the melodrama, the histrionics must not prevent anyone from remembering that the Anfield club deserved to fail.’
    • ‘While the other three actors are excellent, Huljak is neither word perfect nor has drained her acting of histrionics to suit the space.’
    • ‘A player need not indulge in unwanted histrionics in the field.’
    • ‘She was clearly used to Susie's histrionics, and her demeanor suggested she never expected anything different from her.’
    • ‘I knew even then, I think, that my histrionics teetered on hysteria, but my self-conscious melodrama only angered me more.’
    • ‘The accusations sound pretty wild, even considering California's usual election histrionics, but they're more than just overheated rhetoric.’
    • ‘In congested Broadway, the histrionics of a team from Koothu-p-pattarai is the centre of attention.’
    • ‘While they may be provocative, they're quite bereft of the histrionics and hyperbole we've become used to in contemporary art.’
    • ‘Indeed, act appears to be an opportune word after watching the ridiculous histrionics performed during the Uefa Cup and Champions League finals.’
    • ‘And now that she apparently doesn't face the death penalty in Bali either, my sympathy for her histrionics is in fairly short supply.’
    • ‘He's tasked with playing a man who has embellished his life with dramatic flourishes and histrionics, and he does so without being hammy himself.’
    • ‘The average, mainstream American feature deals with grief by employing a mixture of histrionics and melodramatic manipulation.’
    dramatics, drama, theatrics, theatricality, tantrums
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    1. 1.1archaic Dramatic performance; theater.
      • ‘This form of art provides ample scope for the actor to excel in histrionics.’
  • 2archaic An actor.

Origin

Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘dramatically exaggerated, hypocritical’): from late Latin histrionicus, from Latin histrio(n-) ‘actor’.

Pronunciation

histrionic

/ˌhistrēˈänik//ˌhɪstriˈɑnɪk/