melo·​dra·​mat·​ic | \ ˌme-lə-drə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce melodramatic (audio) \

Definition of melodramatic

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of melodrama a luridly melodramatic script
2 : appealing to the emotions : sensational the fund-raiser's desperate, melodramatic appeal for more donations

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Other Words from melodramatic

melodramatically \ ˌme-​lə-​drə-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce melodramatically (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for melodramatic


dramatic, hammy, histrionic, stagy (or stagey), theatrical (also theatric)



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Choose the Right Synonym for melodramatic

dramatic, theatrical, histrionic, melodramatic mean having a character or an effect like that of acted plays. dramatic applies to situations in life and literature that stir the imagination and emotions deeply. a dramatic meeting of world leaders theatrical implies a crude appeal through artificiality or exaggeration in gesture or vocal expression. a theatrical oration histrionic applies to tones, gestures, and motions and suggests a deliberate affectation or staginess. a histrionic show of grief melodramatic suggests an exaggerated emotionalism or an inappropriate theatricalism. made a melodramatic plea

Examples of melodramatic in a Sentence

Oh, quit being so melodramatic!

Recent Examples on the Web

Once known for melodramatic TV movies about women in peril, Lifetime has refocused on empowerment in recent years, including efforts to offer real-life support for its audience. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Sparks Debate and a Ratings Hit," 10 Jan. 2019 The feature becomes more problematic in its second half, which is increasingly melodramatic and on-the-nose. Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Silent Revolution' ('Das schweigende Klassenzimmer'): Film Review | Berlin 2018," 20 Feb. 2018 Last season, Jessica and Cody [Nickson] had melodramatic moments as well. Brian Porreca, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Big Brother' Bosses Preview New Twists in Season 20," 27 June 2018 Their melodramatic romance ends in trauma, and what's left is a cautionary tale about celebrity, love, and addiction. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Spending $100 to See A Star Is Born 8 Times Is My Self-Care," 11 Jan. 2019 The most important element of this whole melodramatic conflict: Comey is accusing the House of asking people to testify in private so that their testimonies can be leaked selectively for political reasons. Rachel Withers, Vox, "Trump lashes out at “Leakin’ James Comey” over details in a publicly available transcript," 9 Dec. 2018 Kassandra and Alexios aren’t too different in that sense, but the outcomes of their various choices can often come across as comically melodramatic. Daniel Starkey, Ars Technica, "Assassin’s Creed Odyssey," 4 Oct. 2018 The little prince took a melodramatic stroll with his father, Prince William, and his new teacher during his first day at Thomas's School in Battersea, London. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Why You Won't See Prince George and Princess Charlotte's Back-to-School Photos This Year," 6 Sep. 2018 Despite its occasionally melodramatic and contrived plot elements, the screenplay co-written by Vranik and Ivan Szabo never succumbs to bathos. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Citizen': Film Review," 5 July 2018

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

1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for melodramatic

Last Updated

17 May 2019

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Time Traveler for melodramatic

The first known use of melodramatic was in 1789

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More Definitions for melodramatic



English Language Learners Definition of melodramatic

often disapproving : emotional in a way that is very extreme or exaggerated : extremely dramatic or emotional


melo·​dra·​mat·​ic | \ ˌme-lə-drə-ˈma-tik How to pronounce melodramatic (audio) \

Kids Definition of melodramatic

: extremely or overly emotional a melodramatic scream

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