Word of the Day Archive
Saturday February 17, 2001
histrionic \his-tree-ON-ik\ , adjective:
1. Of or relating to actors, acting, or the theater; befitting a theater; theatrical.
2. Overly dramatic; deliberately affected.
As late as 1895, when George Bernard Shaw was reviewing new London productions of scripts by Henry James and Oscar Wilde, he was dealing with the interpretations imposed by an actor-manager, who would often select a play mainly because it had a role that promised to showcase his particular histrionic talents.
-- Wendy Lesser, A Director Calls
And the same is true for the other judgments we make about tears, as when we deem them to be normal or excessive, sincere or manipulative, expressive or histrionic.
-- Tom Lutz, Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears
Rose does have too many repetitive, histrionic fits.
-- Frank Rich, "Miller's 'American Clock'", New York Times, November 21, 1980
Histrionic comes from Latin histrionicus, from histrio, histrion-, "an actor."