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
  1. noun
    the quality of being falsely emotional in a maudlin way
    synonyms: drippiness, mawkishness, mushiness, sloppiness, soupiness
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    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
  2. noun
    extravagant or affected feeling or emotion
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    bathos, mawkishness
    insincere pathos
    type of:
    tender, romantic, or nostalgic feeling or emotion
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