"theatrical" (figuratively, "hypocritical"), 1640s, from French histrionique "pertaining to an actor," from stem of Latin histrio (genitive histrionis) "actor," a word said to be of Etruscan origin. The literal sense in English is from 1759. The earlier adjective was histrionical (1550s). Related: Histrionically.
updated on July 28, 2015