Word of the day – Histrionic

Word of the Day : July 10, 2020


adjective his-tree-AH-nik


1 : deliberately affected : overly dramatic or emotional : theatrical

2 : of or relating to actors, acting, or the theater

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 the melodrama, where plot and physical action, not characterization, are emphasized. But something that is histrionic isn’t always overdone; the word can also simply refer to an actor or describe something related to the theater. In that sense, it becomes a synonym of thespian.


“How many water coolers, cocktail parties, and backyard barbecues have you been to where someone has exclaimed, usually in a flourish of histrionic frustration, that they wish they had their own island?” — Carmella DeCaria, The Westchester Magazine, 18 Jan. 2018

“The city’s most extravagant and histrionic event of the fall, Theatre Bizarre, won’t be taking place this October…. Typically taking over Detroit’s Masonic Temple for two weekends just before Halloween, the indoor event includes hot-ticket masquerade balls, and a multi-floor spectacular that includes live music, burlesque, side show acts, food, drink and mandatory costumes—the more outrageous the better.” — Melody Baetens, The Detroit News, 19 May 2020