dra·ma | \ˈdrä-mə, ˈdra- \

Definition of drama 

1a literature : a composition (see composition sense 5a) in verse or prose intended to portray life or character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue and typically designed for theatrical performance : play — compare closet drama

b : a movie or television production with characteristics (such as conflict) of a serious play broadly : a play, movie, or television production with a serious tone or subject a police drama

2 literature : dramatic art, literature, or affairs English drama

3a : a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces the drama of the past week dealing with some family drama

b : dramatic state, effect, or quality the drama of the courtroom proceedings

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Examples of drama in a Sentence

He is reading an ancient Greek drama. I prefer drama to comedy. His interest in drama began at a very young age. She studied drama in college. the dramas of teenage life She watched the drama unfold as they began screaming at each other. a competition full of drama the drama of the courtroom proceedings
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Recent Examples on the Web

Oh made history as the first woman of Asian descent ever nominated for best leading actress in a drama series. Anna Millard, refinery29.com, "Ellen Pompeo’s Reaction To Sandra Oh’s Emmy Nom Has Grey’s Fans Celebrating," 14 July 2018 The social media drama stems from the fact that it's recommended that people avoid raw sushi while pregnant. Korin Miller, SELF, "Hilary Duff May Have Eaten Sushi While Pregnant and Everyone Needs to Chill Out About It," 13 July 2018 More intimate than a typical period drama, the movie becomes an unexpectedly intense, racking examination of Mary’s psychology: her impulsiveness, her defiance, the almost frightening hardness at her core. Jamie Hawkesworth, Vogue, "Saoirse Ronan on Growing Up on Camera, the Changing Politics of Ireland, and Becoming a Queen," 11 July 2018 Flynn has described her book as something of a bait and switch – a juicy crime drama that is actually an exploration of one woman’s pain and the relationships between three generations of women. Anna Silman, The Cut, "Sharp Objects," 11 July 2018 As if a drama-free dinner isn't enough, there will be music and games like bag toss and pickleball. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Where to celebrate Father's Day in Milwaukee's southwest suburbs," 11 June 2018 Alex recaps this week’s Tesla shareholder meeting, a shockingly drama-free, feel-good exercise from the sometimes-struggling electric car company. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "This Week in the Future of Cars: It's Business Time," 10 June 2018 One minute these NBA Finals were a drama-free sweep, with Golden State simply superior to LeBron James’ undermanned Cleveland team that had just fallen in Game 4 at Quicken Loans Arena on Friday night. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "LeBron James' injured hand leaves 2018 NBA Finals loss to Warriors with big what-if factor," 9 June 2018 Still, just like the Trooping of the Colour parade, the event was hardly drama-free. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "A Look Back at Princess Diana's First Trooping the Colour Parade," 9 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of drama

1515, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for drama

Late Latin dramat-, drama, from Greek, deed, drama, from dran to do, act

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Phrases Related to drama

costume drama

high drama

Statistics for drama

Last Updated

27 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for drama

The first known use of drama was in 1515

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More Definitions for drama



English Language Learners Definition of drama

: a piece of writing that tells a story and is performed on a stage

: a play, movie, television show, or radio show that is about a serious subject and is not meant to make the audience laugh

: the art or activity of performing a role in a play, show, etc.


dra·ma | \ˈdrä-mə, ˈdra-\

Kids Definition of drama

1 : a written work that tells a story through action and speech and is acted out : a usually serious play, movie, or television production

2 : the art or profession of creating or putting on plays

3 : an exciting or emotional situation or event Reporters told of the drama occurring in the courtroom.

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Comments on drama

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