from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of, relating to, or suitable for dramatic performance or the theater.
  • adjective Marked by exaggerated self-display and unnatural behavior; affectedly dramatic.
  • noun A stage performance, especially by amateurs.
  • noun Affectedly dramatic gestures or behavior; histrionics.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or pertaining to a theater or scenic representations; resembling the manner of dramatic performers: as, theatrical performances; theatrical gestures.
  • Calculated for display; extravagant; showy; pretentious: as, a theatrical flourish.
  • Artificial; affected; assumed.
  • noun plural All that pertains to a dramatic performance; also, a dramatic performance itself: applied usually to amateur performances; as, to engage in private theatricals (a dramatic performance in a private house).
  • noun A professional actor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to a theater, or to the scenic representations; resembling the manner of dramatic performers; histrionic; hence, artificial.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or relating to the theatre.
  • adjective Fake and exaggerated.
  • noun A stage performance, especially one by amateurs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective of or relating to the theater
  • adjective suited to or characteristic of the stage or theater
  • noun a performance of a play


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word theatrical.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.