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opera

Updated on: 23 Nov 2017

Definition of opera


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opera

noun op·era \ ˈä-p(ə-)rə , Southern also ˈä-prē \

Definition of opera

1 : a drama set to music and made up of vocal pieces with orchestral accompaniment and orchestral overtures (see 1overture 2) and interludes (see interlude 3); specifically : grand opera
  • Beethoven composed only one opera.
2 : the score (see 1score 6) of a musical drama
  • The composer finished the opera in just six weeks.
3 : the performance of an opera
  • The opera was delayed a half hour due to technical difficulties.
; also : a house where operas are performed
  • We'll meet you at the opera at 7 p.m.

Examples of opera in a Sentence

  1. I am going to an opera tonight.

Recent Examples of opera from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'opera.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of opera

borrowed from Italian, "work, labor, artistic production, drama set to music (originally short for opera musicale, opera in musica)," going back to Latin, "activity, effort, attention, work," collective derivative from oper-, opus "work, effort, product of labor" — more at opus



OPERA Defined for English Language Learners

opera

noun

Definition of opera for English Language Learners

  • : a kind of performance in which actors sing all or most of the words of a play with music performed by an orchestra

  • : a show in which opera is performed

  • : a group of actors who perform operas together


OPERA Defined for Kids

opera

noun op·era \ ˈä-pə-rə , ˈä-prə \

Definition of opera for Students

: a play in which the entire text is sung with orchestral accompaniment

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