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 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 Madeline's Madeline filmmaker Josephine Decker will reveal Shirley, a psychodrama starring Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg as The Lottery author Shirley Jackson and her husband. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "Sundance 2020 Will Host One of the Film Festival’s Most Diverse Lineups Yet," 5 Dec. 2019 By embracing non-naturalistic psychodrama, Greig also opens up the story to additional characters who had little or no connection to the original events. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Touching the Void': Theater Review," 15 Nov. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of psychodrama was in 1932

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Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Psychodrama.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on psychodrama

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for psychodrama

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with psychodrama Encyclopedia article about psychodrama

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