soap opera

noun

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

Other Words from soap opera

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

Synonyms for soap opera

Synonyms

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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 And in Idaho, an intraparty soap opera for the ages finally reached its conclusion. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 18 May 2022 Monty was seen engaging in some courtship displays with the unbanded bird, leaving viewers wondering if a soap opera might be in store for the summer. Morgan Greene, Chicago Tribune, 21 Apr. 2022 Jerry Ver Dorn, the soap opera actor who portrayed attorney Ross Marler on CBS’ Guiding Light for 26 years and then patriarch Clint Buchanan on ABC’s One Life to Live for another eight, has died. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 May 2022 All that off-court excess, all that soap opera intrigue, along with those five league titles. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 25 Apr. 2022 Kim Hughes experienced standard soap opera fare, from extramarital affairs to memory loss. Annabelle Williams, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Apr. 2022 Actress June Brown, who was widely known for her role as character Dot Cotton in the British soap opera EastEnders, died on Sunday. Natasha Dado, PEOPLE.com, 4 Apr. 2022 Rather than do karaoke with her friends, Mei opts to help out at her family’s temple after school, prepare dinner and stay on top of her homework in addition to participating in her mother-daughter soap opera ritual. NBC News, 18 Mar. 2022 Our daily soap opera of Boston and baseball began with a back-end thud As baseball becomes more homogenized, rivalries will lose some shine. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, 9 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for soap opera

Time Traveler

The first known use of soap opera was in 1938

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Dictionary Entries Near soap opera

soap nut

soap opera

soap orange

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Statistics for soap opera

Last Updated

31 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Soap opera.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soap%20opera. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on soap opera

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about soap opera

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