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com·​ic-op·​era ˈkä-mik-ˈä-p(ə-)rə How to pronounce comic-opera (audio)
: not to be taken seriously
a comic-opera regime

comic opera

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: opera of a humorous character with a happy ending and usually some spoken dialogue

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Parker never returned to Jerusalem, and the incident of 1911, if remembered at all, was dismissed in the West as a minor comic opera. Andrew Lawler, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Oct. 2021 Brexit is still, for much of the English public, in its Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera phase. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, 13 May 2021 This one is more like a somber minor-key concerto than a comic opera. Kyle Smith, National Review, 7 May 2021 The scene has the noise and color and light of a comic opera in which many incidents occur simultaneously. Helen A. Cooper, WSJ, 9 Apr. 2021 In 2015, the duo inspired a comic opera based on their unlikely friendship. CBS News, 20 Sep. 2020 In 1825, with the backing of Lorenzo da Ponte (the librettist for Mozart’s three great comic operas, then teaching Italian at Columbia), Garcia was the first to bring Italian opera to New York City. Ian Bostridge, The New York Review of Books, 29 Apr. 2020 The Mikado New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players stage the British duo’s classic comic opera/social satire set in feudal Japan. Matt Cooper, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2020 Indeed, historians often compare the mostly bloodless civil wars that characterized California politics during the Mexican period to the wars in comic operas, in which armies march noisily back and forth without ever actually fighting. Gary Kamiya,, 7 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comic-opera.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use


1891, in the meaning defined above


1706, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of comic-opera was in 1706

Dictionary Entries Near comic-opera



comic opera

Cite this Entry

“Comic-opera.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

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