horse opera


Examples of horse opera in a Sentence

the star of many horse operas
Recent Examples on the Web At the end of the month, Devolver will release Weird West, an inky horse opera set in an American frontier beset by ghouls, cultists, and a variety of other prairie nightmares. Luke Winkie, Vulture, 9 Mar. 2022 But the Opera Theater of Connecticut has staged a real horse opera. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 3 Sep. 2022 The ongoing horse opera now has a new leading man: Tim Yakteen. New York Times, 7 May 2022 But also, because of the actor’s reliability, a figure that still felt rooted in the history of the horse opera. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2021 Amid the horseplay in this deranged horse opera, there’s also a poignant moment — part tribute, part torch-passing — in Act 2, when a large photo appears onstage of Larry Coen. Don Aucoin,, 2 May 2018 The problem is that his and screenwriter Greg Tucker's love of horse operas both boilerplate and ruminative a la Peckinpah doesn't mesh well enough into a smooth ride. Robert Abele,, 22 Mar. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'horse opera.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1923, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of horse opera was in 1923

Dictionary Entries Near horse opera

Cite this Entry

“Horse opera.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

horse opera

Word Origin
You have probably noticed that while there may be lots of horses in a cowboy film, there is usually no singing. The word opera is used in this term because the exciting stories and the overacting reminded people of operas. Horse opera, in reference to a western, dates from the late 1920s. About ten years later the term soap opera came to be used for a radio and still later for a television drama that was frequently sponsored by a soap manufacturer. By the late 1940s the term space opera came into use for a drama involving space travelers and beings on other planets.
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