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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
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for histrionics
  • After the histrionics of the last few days, the spring and summer couture collections ended on a calming note today.
  • In the past he has faced down critics with histrionics and theatrical brinkmanship.
  • It is rare to encounter such a determined lack of ostentatious histrionics in this music.
  • Either would be appropriate channels for your histrionics.
  • The histrionics of the global warming faithful is always good for a laugh.
  • Given the subject matter, the dancers' histrionics could be called appropriately melodramatic.
  • But its histrionics were attention getting rather than eloquent.
  • The judge threw ostentatious glances at the clock, annoyed by the histrionics and eager to get to the job at hand.
  • She doesn't serve the cause of victims with such histrionics.
  • histrionics fly high in the mistaken notion that shouting is synonymous with acting.
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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