soap opera


Definition of soap opera

1a : a serial drama performed originally on a daytime radio or television program and chiefly characterized by tangled interpersonal situations and melodramatic or sentimental treatment
b : a series of real-life events resembling a soap opera
2 : the melodrama and sentimentality characteristic of a soap opera even cops need a little soap opera in their lives— Joseph Wambaugh also : something (such as a novel) having such qualities

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Other Words from soap opera

soap-operatic \ ˈsōp-​ˌä-​pə-​ˈra-​tik How to pronounce soap-operatic (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for soap opera


corn, goo, mush, schmaltz (also schmalz), sludge, slush, sorghum

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Examples of soap opera in a Sentence

She loves to watch daytime soap operas. the movie started out well, but quickly devolved into improbable soap opera

Recent Examples on the Web

Stories that promote surprise over character end up as mere soap opera, a series of sensational shocks. J.b., The Economist, "Why spoilers are ruining storytelling," 7 June 2019 The 46th Daytime Emmys ceremony will honor people and programs airing between 2 a.m. to 6 p.m. (a.k.a. soap operas and daytime talk shows). Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Here's How to Watch and Stream the 2019 Daytime Emmys Red Carpet and Ceremony," 4 May 2019 Chrishell, 37, is also an actress known for roles on soap operas All My Children and Days of Our Lives, and most recently played Bethany Bryant on The Young and the Restless. Samantha Drake, Country Living, "How 'This is Us' Star Justin Hartley Found Love With Wife Chrishell Stause Following His Divorce," 16 Sep. 2018 Lauren Yee’s global-vision variation on a by-the-numbers sports soap opera. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Basketball Meets Tiananmen Square in ‘The Great Leap’," 4 June 2018 According to Deadline, the longstanding soap opera will honor Kristoff, who played character Neil Winters for 28 years, in several ways. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Here’s How ‘The Young and the Restless’ Will Pay Tribute to Kristoff St. John on the Show," 16 Apr. 2019 Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is far from a done-to-death, over-the-top adolescent soap opera set inside a world of powerful witches and supernatural beings. Jasmine Arielle Ting, Teen Vogue, ""Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Shows That There's Power in Questioning Your Religion," 5 Apr. 2019 There's a reason that royal watchers often refer to the British royal family as the world's longest-running soap opera. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Prince Harry Is Reportedly 'Going All Out' to Protect Meghan Markle for This Heartbreaking Reason," 11 Dec. 2018 In 1966, the Gothic soap opera ‘‘Dark Shadows’’ premiered on ABC-TV., "This day in history," 27 June 2018

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

1938, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for soap opera

from its sponsorship by soap manufacturers

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Statistics for soap opera

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for soap opera

The first known use of soap opera was in 1938

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More Definitions for soap opera

soap opera


English Language Learners Definition of soap opera

: a television or radio program that has continuing stories about the daily lives and problems of a group of people

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More from Merriam-Webster on soap opera

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for soap opera

Spanish Central: Translation of soap opera Encyclopedia article about soap opera

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showing great care, attention, and effort

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