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 Somewhat incongruously, Saul has also tracked Bad’s cartel melodrama backwards, cutting across town to the luscious atrocities of Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and the bottomless clown car of nasty Salamanca nephews. Darren Franich,, "The death and life of the lawyer show," 18 June 2020 Lenny Belardo, aka Pius XIII—brought a uniquely European touch to what might be best described as a comic melodrama. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The 2010s were a veritable golden age of opening credits in television," 30 Dec. 2019 This lively show is a traditional old-time melodrama featuring colorful 2½ foot tall rod puppets with animated mouths, eyes and eyebrows., "Calendar: Play-Doh playdate Thursday in Lake Forest," 18 June 2019 This 2015 melodrama centers around Sun-Mi, who has a blood disease, and falls in love with Sang-Woo, who works at an aquarium. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "10 Great Korean Romance Movies You Can Stream Right Now," 29 Apr. 2020 And now, the latest melodrama: Media shrieking over President Trump’s removal of an Obama holdover who had been designated to be the inspector general overseeing the gargantuan spending authorized by the coronavirus relief legislation. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "It’s the President’s Prerogative to Name a COVID-19 Spending Watchdog He Trusts," 8 Apr. 2020 There's plenty of high school melodrama, too, of course. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina S3 is a mesmerizing melting pot of the macabre," 27 Jan. 2020 Spinning Out discards it in favor of commonplace melodrama, faltering under the pressure. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "Female Athletes Get New Representation on TV," 14 Jan. 2020 This is an earnest, foursquare, if extremely well-made, melodrama. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "The Plot Against America," 16 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for melodrama

Time Traveler

The first known use of melodrama was in 1802

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Statistics for melodrama

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Melodrama.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for melodrama


How to pronounce melodrama (audio)

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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