melo·dra·ma | \ ˈme-lə-ˌdrä-mə , -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, -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

Britain’s government plunged into another melodrama Monday as Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigned over Theresa May’s proposal for future trading relations with the European Union. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Moment of Truth for Brexit," 9 July 2018 The lyrics themselves aren’t particularly notable, but Ty’s vocal tics reveal a penchant for studious melodrama. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Ty Dolla $ign Isn’t Just a Feature Artist, He’s a Star," 2 July 2018 Director Ari Aster, in his first feature, marries the horror and melodrama genres into an unnerving movie about grief. Monica Castillo,, "The story behind 'Hereditary,' the Toni Collette horror movie that scared the bejesus out of Sundance," 8 June 2018 At times Deafheaven’s embrace of melodrama verges on malpractice. Greg Kot,, "Deafheaven review: A duel between catharsis and melodrama on 'Ordinary Corrupt Human Love'," 13 July 2018 To be clear, the performances in this indie melodrama are fine. Trevor Fraser,, "Review: to be happy - Fringe 2018," 14 May 2018 She was known for her comic timing and her dancing skills, a great asset in the song-and-dance melodramas that are a staple of mainstream Indian cinema. kansascity, "Final Chapters for March 4, 2018: Lewis Gilbert, Sridevi Kapoor, Bud Luckey | The Kansas City Star," 7 Mar. 2018 If a black-and-white melodrama isn’t up your alley, enjoy the timeless score by Miles Davis. Sara Aridi, New York Times, "What’s on TV Tuesday: ‘A Quiet Place’ and ‘The Endless’," 26 June 2018 Well, this backstage melodrama is the origin of all that stuff, from 1933 to Glee. John Timpane,, "Bucks County's '42nd Street': From Allentown (!) to Broadway, with great song and dance," 8 July 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

19 Sep 2018

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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



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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Comments on melodrama

What made you want to look up melodrama? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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