1. (used with a singular verb) the art of staging plays and other stage performances.
  2. (used with a plural verb) exaggerated, artificial, or histrionic mannerisms, actions, or words.

noun (functioning as singular)

  1. the art of staging plays
  2. exaggerated mannerisms or displays of emotions

n.1807, “matters pertaining to the stage,” from theater; also see -ics. Meaning “theatrical behavior” is attested from 1929, American English.

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