melodrama

noun melo·dra·ma \ ˈme-lə-ˌdrä-mə , -ˌdra- \

Definition of melodrama

1 a :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 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.

melodramatist

play \ˌme-lə-ˈdra-mə-tist, -ˈdrä-\ noun

Examples of melodrama in a Sentence

  1. Critics dismissed his work as melodrama.

  2. an actor with a talent for melodrama

  3. She is starring in another melodrama.

  4. The trial turned into a melodrama.

  5. a life full of melodrama

Recent Examples of melodrama from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of melodrama

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

Other Performing Arts Terms


MELODRAMA Defined for English Language Learners

melodrama

noun

Definition of melodrama for English Language Learners

  • : 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



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

serious difficulty or misfortune

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!