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See also: histriònic


Alternative forms[edit]


From Late Latin histriōnicus (pertaining to acting), from Latin histriō (actor).



histrionic (comparative more histrionic, superlative most histrionic)

  1. Of, or relating to actors or acting.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Affair at the Novelty Theatre[1]:
      Miss Phyllis Morgan, as the hapless heroine dressed in the shabbiest of clothes, appears in the midst of a gay and giddy throng; she apostrophises all and sundry there, including the villain, and has a magnificent scene which always brings down the house, and nightly adds to her histrionic laurels.
  2. Excessively dramatic or emotional, especially with the intention to draw attention.
    • 1848, Thomas De Quincey, Oliver Goldsmith (review of John Forster, Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith), The North British Review, Volume 9: May—August, page 208,
      [] and hence it is that the mode and the expression of honour to literature in France has continued to this hour tainted with false and histrionic feeling, [] .
    • 1990, Robert Conquest, The Great Terror: A Reassessment, 2008, page 414,
      Trotsky's vanity, unlike Stalin's, was, practically speaking, frivolous. There was something more histrionic about it. He had shown himself no less ruthless than Stalin. Indeed, at the time of the Civil War, he had ordered executions on a greater scale than Stalin or anyone else.
    • 2009, Peter Bondanella, A History of Italian Cinema[2], page 220:
      This lens (known as a carello ottico in Italian and a travelling optique in French) is used sparingly but effectively in General Della Rovere during the important bombardment scene inside the prison, which introduces De Sica's most histrionic speech.
    • 2010, Joan Lachkar, How to Talk to a Borderline[3], page 124:
      So, as he keeps her endlessly frustrated, she becomes more histrionic; and as she projects her emotional, “dirty” parts onto him, he becomes more anal and compulsive.
    • 2011, Neel Burton, Psychiatry[4], page 138:
      A vicious circle may form in which the more rejected they feel the more histrionic they become, and the more histrionic they become the more rejected they feel.

Derived terms[edit]