Sentimentality is a quality of being overly, dramatically emotional — sad or loving or nostalgic. Your sentimentality on her eightieth birthday might make your down-to-earth grandmother roll her eyes.

When your emotions go overboard, becoming a little theatrical or false, that's sentimentality. A person's sentimentality might come in handy if a job as a greeting card writer opens up, or a role in a community theater's production of "Les Misérables." Sentimentality comes from the adjective sentimental, which is rooted in the Medieval Latin sentimentum, "feeling, affection or opinion."

Definitions of sentimentality

n the quality of being falsely emotional in a maudlin way

drippiness, mawkishness, mushiness, sloppiness, soupiness
something sentimental or trite
schmaltz, schmalz, shmaltz
(Yiddish) excessive sentimentality in art or music
a predilection for sentimentality
Type of:
emotionalism, emotionality
emotional nature or quality

n extravagant or affected feeling or emotion

bathos, mawkishness
insincere pathos
Type of:
tender, romantic, or nostalgic feeling or emotion

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