melodrama

noun
melo·​dra·​ma | \ ˈme-lə-ˌdrä-mə How to pronounce melodrama (audio) , -ˌdra-\

Definition of melodrama

1a : a work (such as a movie or play) characterized by extravagant theatricality and by the predominance of plot and physical action over characterization an actor with a flair for melodrama
b : the genre (see genre sense 1) of dramatic literature constituted by such works
2 : something resembling a melodrama especially in having a sensational or theatrical quality The trial turned into a melodrama.

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Other Words from melodrama

melodramatist \ ˌme-​lə-​ˈdra-​mə-​tist How to pronounce melodramatist (audio) , -​ˈdrä-​ \ noun

Examples of melodrama in a Sentence

Critics dismissed his work as melodrama. an actor with a talent for melodrama She is starring in another melodrama. The trial turned into a melodrama. a life full of melodrama
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Arab writers who churn out these melodramas are eager to create more nuanced entertainment, the kinds of shows that can spark public debate and serve as catalysts for social change. Rachel Gandin Mark, The Hollywood Reporter, "Can Netflix Transform the Television Landscape in the Middle East?," 27 June 2018 Like the show, which paid homage to silent film melodramas and presented variations of the same basic plot in every episode, the not-too-sharp Canadian Mountie tries to save damsel-in-distress Nell from the evil Snidley Whiplash. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "America's top log flume rides: Five of our favorites, from Splash Mountain to Ripsaw Falls," 17 June 2019 Moro became the avatar of reaction against thirteen years of Workers’ Party dominance at the federal level, an attractive protagonist in a national melodrama that pitted brash, young reformers against a bloated, self-interested state. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "The Conspiracy to Discredit Brazil’s Left," 10 June 2019 On the page L'Enfant Secret reads like a routine backstage melodrama. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "L’Enfant Secret is so intimate it feels like a confession," 25 May 2018 But a pleasingly devious streak, at times reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith, winds through the collection, offsetting the latent melodrama. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction Books: Tapped Into a Kind of Magic," 25 Oct. 2018 Though its trailer veers dangerously close to melodrama, A Star Is Born had reviewers raving following its premiere at the Venice Film Festival last week. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "This New Clip of Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born Proves You Will Never Get The Movie's Songs Out of Your Head," 7 Sep. 2018 To all this, the Tainaner Ensemble one-man show, visiting from Taiwan as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival, adds melodrama’s pieces of flair. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Projections the highlight of ‘Solo Date’ at S.F. International Arts Fest," 1 June 2018 The pacing of this dual murder exploration is uncertain, the tone too often swerves toward melodrama, and the timeline gets confusing as the small-town characters multiply. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Is the True-Crime Fever Breaking? Watching Netflix’s John Grisham Documentary The Innocent Man," 14 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'melodrama.' 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 melodrama

1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for melodrama

modification of French mélodrame, from Greek melos song + French drame drama, from Late Latin drama

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Statistics for melodrama

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for melodrama

The first known use of melodrama was in 1802

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More Definitions for melodrama

melodrama

noun

English Language Learners Definition of melodrama

: 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on melodrama

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with melodrama

Spanish Central: Translation of melodrama

Nglish: Translation of melodrama for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of melodrama for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about melodrama

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