We're working on a new site. Click here to get a sneak preview.


noun melo·dra·ma \ˈme-lə-ˌdrä-mə, -ˌdra-\

: drama in which many exciting events happen and the characters have very strong or exaggerated emotions

: a situation or series of events in which people have very strong or exaggerated emotions

Full Definition of MELODRAMA

a :  a work (as a movie or play) characterized by extravagant theatricality and by the predominance of plot and physical action over characterization
b :  the genre of dramatic literature constituted by such works
:  something resembling a melodrama especially in having a sensational or theatrical quality
melo·dra·ma·tist \ˌme-lə-ˈdra-mə-tist, -ˈdrä-\ noun

Examples of MELODRAMA

  1. Critics dismissed his work as melodrama.
  2. an actor with a talent for melodrama
  3. She is starring in another melodrama.
  4. The trial turned into a melodrama.
  5. a life full of melodrama


modification of French mélodrame, from Greek melos song + French drame drama, from Late Latin drama
First Known Use: 1802

Other Performing Arts Terms

diva, dramaturgy, loge, prestidigitation, proscenium, supernumerary, zany


Next Word in the Dictionary: melodramaticPrevious Word in the Dictionary: melodizeAll Words Near: melodrama
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears