psy·​cho·​dra·​ma | \ ˌsī-kō-ˈdrä-mə How to pronounce psychodrama (audio) , -ˈdra- \

Definition of psychodrama

1 : an extemporized dramatization designed to afford catharsis and social relearning for one or more of the participants from whose life history the plot is abstracted
2 : a dramatic narrative or work characterized by psychological overtones
3 : an often ongoing psychological struggle also : an expression of psychological turmoil

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Other Words from psychodrama

psychodramatic \ ˌsī-​kō-​drə-​ˈma-​tik How to pronounce psychodramatic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of psychodrama in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This kind of subconscious-plumbing psychodrama—which derives its scares from our fears of aging, loneliness, and decay—has been a favorite of Kaufman since his first movie screenplay, 1999’s Being John Malkovich. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Charlie Kaufman’s First Movie in Years Is a Mind-Bender," 3 Sep. 2020 The president’s personal psychodrama with many of those experts is an obvious illustration. Ari Schulman, The New Republic, "The Coronavirus and the Right’s Scientific Counterrevolution," 15 June 2020 This darkly powerful psychodrama finds fear and tension in its hermetic world of rural farming and religious immersion amid the almost contradictory beauty of its sprawling South African locale. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, "Review: South African ‘The Harvesters’ is an austere psychodrama of life on a farm," 25 Sep. 2019 There is tremendous scope for a two-handed comedy-cum-psychodrama in the series’ premise—an extremely perverse version of The Trip, if both Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon were incredibly depressed and also very, very horny for each other. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "Merritt Wever Is Too Good For Run," 20 Apr. 2020 The gallows humor here might be milder, centered mainly on the family's relatable class struggles, but the show's psychodrama is more effective than adapting Twitter hot takes to TV dialogue. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: Against the Odds, 'The Conners' Became Comfort TV," 16 Dec. 2019 Part psychodrama, part tale of existential high-school angst, Beast Beast, from writer-director Danny Madden, follows three young people in a Southern suburb as their lives intersect. Beandrea July, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Beast Beast': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 27 Jan. 2020 Josephine Decker, who wowed the 2018 Sundance with the psychodrama Madeline's Madeline, returned this year with Shirley, an adaptation of a novel inspired by early 1950s academia and the life of author Shirley Jackson. TheWeek, "reckons with the streaming revolution," 7 Feb. 2020 Malkovich’s character, a fan of Marilyn Manson and friend of Meghan Markle who is caught up in the banal psychodrama of trying to please his parents, embodies that insight as well. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The New Pope’s Old Magic," 8 Jan. 2020

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

1932, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for psychodrama

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The first known use of psychodrama was in 1932

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Last Updated

9 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Psychodrama.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for psychodrama


psy·​cho·​dra·​ma | \ ˌsī-kō-ˈdräm-ə, -ˈdram-; ˈsī-kō-ˌdräm-ə, -ˌdram- How to pronounce psychodrama (audio) \

Medical Definition of psychodrama

: an extemporized dramatization designed to afford catharsis and social relearning for one or more of the participants from whose life history the plot is abstracted

Other Words from psychodrama

psychodramatic \ -​kō-​drə-​ˈmat-​ik How to pronounce psychodramatic (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on psychodrama

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for psychodrama Encyclopedia article about psychodrama

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