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histrionics

[his-tree-on-iks] /ˌhɪs triˈɒn ɪks/
noun, (used with a singular or plural verb)
1.
dramatic representation; theatricals; acting.
2.
behavior or speech for effect, as insincere or exaggerated expression of an emotion; dramatics; operatics:
Cut out the histrionics—we know you're not really mad.
Origin of histrionics
1860-1865
1860-65; see histrionic, -ics
Can be confused
hysterics, histrionics.

histrionic

[his-tree-on-ik] /ˌhɪs triˈɒn ɪk/
adjective, Also, histrionical
1.
of or relating to actors or acting.
2.
deliberately affected or self-consciously emotional; overly dramatic, in behavior or speech.
noun
3.
an actor.
Origin
1640-50; < Late Latin histrōnicus of actors, equivalent to histriōn- (stem of histriō) actor (said to be < Etruscan) + -icus -ic
Related forms
histrionically, adverb
nonhistrionic, adjective
nonhistrionical, adjective
nonhistrionically, adverb
nonhistrionicalness, noun
unhistrionic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for histrionics
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was a feint, she thought, histrionics for the gallery, perhaps for her.

    The Monster Edgar Saltus
  • Her one art was histrionics of the kind that made an individual appeal.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • The expression of astonishment was fairly well done--I will say that for him--but I was prepared for histrionics.

    The Mystery Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • In Oratorio we have the same thing without the scenery and the histrionics.

    Beauty and the Beast Stewart A. McDowall
  • He would wish to know what it was supposed to be, like Nash's histrionics.

    The Tragic Muse Henry James
British Dictionary definitions for histrionics

histrionic

/ˌhɪstrɪˈɒnɪk/
adjective
1.
excessively dramatic, insincere, or artificial: histrionic gestures
2.
(rare) dramatic
noun
3.
(pl) melodramatic displays of temperament
4.
(rare) (pl, functioning as singular) dramatics
Derived Forms
histrionically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin histriōnicus of a player, from histriō actor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for histrionics
n.

"theatrics, pretense," 1864, from histrionic; also see -ics.

histrionic

adj.

"theatrical" (figuratively, "hypocritical"), 1640s, from Latin histrionicus "pertaining to an actor," from histrio (genitive histrionis) "actor," said to be of Etruscan origin. The literal sense in English is from 1759.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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