prima donna

noun
pri·​ma don·​na | \ ˌpri-mə-ˈdä-nə How to pronounce prima donna (audio) , ˌprē-\
plural prima donnas

Definition of prima donna

1 : a principal female singer in an opera or concert organization
2 : a vain or undisciplined person who finds it difficult to work under direction or as part of a team

Examples of prima donna in a Sentence

The actress is a temperamental prima donna. We are looking for team players, not prima donnas.

Recent Examples on the Web

The entire crew is ready to start working, but Gladys is being a prima donna. Rachel Manteuffel, Washington Post, "Using goats to clear land is ‘way more labor-intensive than anyone can imagine’," 13 Aug. 2019 The five-star prima donna busts and the unrated late bloomers full of heart. Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "Analysis: Breaking down Luke Fickell's recruiting success with UC Bearcats football," 26 July 2019 The company’s prima donna soprano, Trista Moldovan, exhibits a world-class voice, even though hers is meant to be a secondary talent. Tom Titus, Daily Pilot, "Review:: On Theater: ‘Phantom’ resurrected with a vengeance at Segerstrom," 15 July 2019 Jennifer Garner Older daughter Violet is about the same age as Suri Cruise, but seems like way less of a pint-size prima donna. Kim Fusaro, Woman's Day, "Which Famous Moms Would You Want to Be Friends With?," 5 July 2010 The company’s prima donna soprano, Trista Moldovan, exhibits a world-class voice, even though hers is meant to be a secondary talent. Tom Titus, Daily Pilot, "Review:: On Theater: ‘Phantom’ resurrected with a vengeance at Segerstrom," 15 July 2019 Jennifer Garner Older daughter Violet is about the same age as Suri Cruise, but seems like way less of a pint-size prima donna. Kim Fusaro, Woman's Day, "Which Famous Moms Would You Want to Be Friends With?," 5 July 2010 By being one of the few premium wide receivers who is not a prima donna and takes serious pride in his dirty work (including blocking), Jones is one of the NFL’s most respected players. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "How the Julio Jones Holdout Must Play Out," 13 June 2018 Two characters seemingly tossed in to further stimulate the plot are the obsequious hotel bellhop (Robert Moniz) and the ambitious local prima donna (Lori Kelley). Tom Titus, latimes.com, "On Theater: A wild encore for ‘Tenor’ in Newport Beach," 7 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of prima donna

1754, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prima donna

Italian, literally, first lady

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prima donna

Dictionary Entries near prima donna

prima

prima ballerina

primacy

prima donna

primaeval

prima facie

primage

Statistics for prima donna

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prima donna

The first known use of prima donna was in 1754

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for prima donna

prima donna

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prima donna

: the main female singer in an opera company
disapproving : a person who thinks she or he is better than everyone else and who does not work well as part of a team or group

More from Merriam-Webster on prima donna

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prima donna

Spanish Central: Translation of prima donna

Comments on prima donna

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

WORD OF THE DAY

authorized for issue (as a bond)

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
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!