ham it up


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

ham it up

To act in an exaggerated way, typically in order to be funny. Your daughter loves to ham it up for the camera—you might have a little actress on your hands!
See also: ham, up

ham up

To exaggerate a performance or act in an overstated or over-the-top manner, often to the level of being irksome or inappropriate. A noun or pronoun can be used between "ham" and "up." This is a serious play, so please don't ham up your part. My toddlers like to ham it up whenever we have company.
See also: ham, up

ˌham it ˈup

(informal) (especially of actors) when people ham it up, they deliberately exaggerate their emotions or movements: When we realized we were being filmed, we all started behaving differently, hamming it up for the cameras.
A ham is an informal word for an actor who performs badly, especially by exaggerating emotions.
See also: ham, up