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

The soapy melodrama centers on a bookstore clerk, Joe (Penn Badgley), who develops an obsession with a woman named Beck (Elizabeth Lail). Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "You Season 2: Here's Everything We Know So Far," 11 Jan. 2019 Heartbreak-rage-move on is a formula that has fed every kind of pop culture for centuries, from the Bible to movie melodramas. Meredith Clark, SELF, "Why Some Couples Can Recover After Cheating and Others Can't," 27 Dec. 2018 So as Rome’s budget melodrama unfolds, the concern shouldn’t be that Italy will choose to jump out of the euro. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Italy Issues a Euro Dare to Germany," 11 Oct. 2018 In quieter times, the serials were mostly escapist melodramas following predictable clichés of love and family. Rachel Scheier,, "'It's like the Super Bowl, but it lasts a month': Egyptian TV's big Ramadan blowout," 11 June 2018 The piece of headwear that captures the melodrama surrounding the NFL’s new helmet rule isn’t a football helmet. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The NFL’s New Safety Rule Has Resulted in an Existential Crisis," 6 Aug. 2018 Giving into the melodrama of the moment is not the way to go. Fox News, "Ingraham: When the inmates run the immigration asylum," 26 July 2018 But for audiences used to watching other female-coded genres like the melodrama or the tell-all biopic, the movie becomes predictable in its sidelining and eventual condemnation of Annie’s art. Katherine Fusco, The Atlantic, "Hereditary and the Monstrousness of Creative Moms," 11 July 2018 For her directorial debut, Dexter-Jones wrote and directed Cecile on the Phone, an 11-minute short which explores the melodrama that ensues when a former flame reenters one's life. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Annabelle Dexter-Jones Talks Directing Her First Short, Cecile On The Phone," 20 June 2017

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

7 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for melodrama

The first known use of melodrama was in 1802

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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 Encyclopedia article about melodrama

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