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Histrionic, histrionics

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  • The adjective histrionic comes from the Latin histronicus, meaning relating to actors. While the English word can mean of or pertaining to actors or acting, it’s more often used to mean overly dramatic or deliberately affected. The corresponding noun, histrionics, meaning dramatic or exaggerated behavior, always takes the plural form and is usually treated as plural.

    Examples

    Histrionic

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    [Otherwise sensible and intelligent MPs often feel free to indulge in exaggerated, histrionic or pompous behaviour. [Canberra Times]

    Thousands of histrionic gannets squawk and screech. [Independent Online]

    Histrionics

    Despite the hand wringing and histrionics not to mention weeping and wailing coming from New York, same sex couples will see marriage equality in a few weeks. [San Francisco Chronicle]

    Some might think it clinical but Pollini knows that all the emotion is there on the page; it needs no histrionics. [Guardian]

    The howls of outrage are, then, cynical and unthinking histrionics. [Boston Globe]

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