There are 2 main definitions of opera in English:


Line breaks: opera
Pronunciation: /ˈɒp(ə)rə


1A dramatic work in one or more acts, set to music for singers and instrumentalists: it was the best performance of the opera he had ever heard
More example sentences
  • In the 1770s he began composing symphonies, concertos, operas and theater music.
  • They are even hungry for classical music - operas, symphonies and solo concerts.
  • The discretionary fund is used to pay musicians, broadcast live classical music concerts and operas.
1.1 [mass noun] Operas as a genre of classical music: a very grand programme of opera and ballet
More example sentences
  • There are many people who are very used to listening to opera, classical music, world music, and pop in languages other than their own.
  • The opera has been around China for more than 400 years, impacting many other genres of folk opera.
  • In the last few years London has seen a variety of operatic styles in contemporary opera.
1.2A building for the performance of opera: you will enjoy a visit to the opera
More example sentences
  • On the other hand, there's nothing like going to the opera or Shakespearean theatre on a mild dose of magic mushrooms.
  • When your day's work is done, I can bring the theatre or the opera to your home
  • You decide to splash out on a night at the opera, but the theatre is full.


mid 17th century: from Italian, from Latin, literally 'labour, work'.

Definition of opera in: