dra·​ma ˈdrä-mə How to pronounce drama (audio) ˈdra- How to pronounce drama (audio)
literature : a composition (see composition sense 5a) in verse or prose intended to portray life or character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue and typically designed for theatrical performance : play compare closet drama
: a movie or television production with characteristics (such as conflict) of a serious play
broadly : a play, movie, or television production with a serious tone or subject
a police drama
literature : dramatic art, literature, or affairs
English drama
: a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces
the drama of the past week
dealing with some family drama
: dramatic state, effect, or quality
the drama of the courtroom proceedings

Example Sentences

He is reading an ancient Greek drama. I prefer drama to comedy. His interest in drama began at a very young age. She studied drama in college. the dramas of teenage life She watched the drama unfold as they began screaming at each other. a competition full of drama the drama of the courtroom proceedings See More
Recent Examples on the Web In addition to her creepy Wednesday role, Jenna has starred in a few horror films recently—including Scream (2022), X (2022), and the school shooting drama-thriller The Fallout (2022), which was an HBO Max release. Olivia Evans, Women's Health, 3 Mar. 2023 There were also previous rumors about drama between Nicola and Victoria when Nicola wore a Valentino dress for her wedding instead of a Victoria Beckham design. Rebecca Aizin, Peoplemag, 3 Mar. 2023 The show will air live with 3-hour episodes every Friday and Saturday on Reelz this season, providing more high-stakes drama than ever before. oregonlive, 3 Mar. 2023 Discovery also helped launch CBS’ streaming service (then called CBS All Access) and currently stands as Paramount+’s longest-running drama. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Mar. 2023 But Jerzy Skolimowski’s formally radical, emotionally wrenching drama about the travails of a donkey is by far this category’s — and perhaps the year’s — most cinematically revivifying achievement. Los Angeles Times, 2 Mar. 2023 There's no such thing as too much drama if Sergio Hudson has any say. Nerisha Penrose, ELLE, 1 Mar. 2023 Netflix’s passionate drama is returning with a second season to steam up your small screens. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, 1 Mar. 2023 Editor’s picks There are a lot of promising individual components, and some juicy drama. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 1 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Late Latin dramat-, drama, from Greek, deed, drama, from dran to do, act

First Known Use

1515, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of drama was in 1515

Dictionary Entries Near drama

Cite this Entry

“Drama.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drama. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


dra·​ma ˈdräm-ə How to pronounce drama (audio) ˈdram- How to pronounce drama (audio)
: a written work that tells a story through action and speech and is meant to be acted on a stage : play
: a play, movie, or television production with a serious tone or subject
: dramatic art, literature, or affairs
: an exciting event or series of events
the drama of the basketball playoffs
: dramatic effect or quality
used colored lighting for drama

More from Merriam-Webster on drama

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