Definition of melodrama in English:

melodrama

Line breaks: melo|drama
Pronunciation: /ˈmɛlə(ʊ)drɑːmə
 
/

noun

1A sensational dramatic piece with exaggerated characters and exciting events intended to appeal to the emotions: he gloated like a villain in a Victorian melodrama
More example sentences
  • Greta Garbo played tragic lovers, exotic temptresses and steely heroines, anchoring many mediocre melodramas and haughty period pieces like a pro.
  • The feel of a sensational melodrama is part of its success: this is rich, indulgent, luxurious story-telling, the kind of book that you can really get your teeth into - and want to read it in one sitting.
  • Like soap operas and melodramas, Magnolia is characterized by excess.
1.1 [mass noun] The genre of melodrama: he abandoned melodrama for realism
More example sentences
  • They imitated the Hollywood genres of comedy, melodrama, musicals and Westerns.
  • The challenges stimulated more work on genres, like melodrama, that addressed women.
  • Enduring female friendships, in various forms, have been explored in both mainstream and independent cinema over the last decade or so, predominantly through the genres of melodrama and comedy.
1.2 [mass noun] Behaviour or events that resemble melodrama: what little is known of his early life is cloaked in melodrama
More example sentences
  • ‘It's meant to be’ jibes Danilo as he storms off the Westmorland Hall stage with such splendid melodrama he almost pushes conductor Wyn Davies into his illustrious players.
  • It is an old-fashioned, admirably reticent film that succeeds not through daring but by avoiding the seductions of sentimentality and melodrama.
  • Nonetheless they showed Andersen a way to write stories with unhappy endings while avoiding the sentimentality and melodrama that plague his novels.
2 historical A play interspersed with songs and orchestral music accompanying the action.
More example sentences
  • He wrote songs, operas, and operettas, pantomimes, melodramas, and in 1823, a History of Music.
  • I went reluctantly to Bingley Little Theatre's production of the Victorian melodrama with music East Lynne.
  • East Lynne is a melodrama with music telling how a woman is tricked into believing her husband is having an affair.

Origin

early 19th century: from French mélodrame, from Greek melos 'music' + French drame 'drama'.

Derivatives

melodramatist

Pronunciation: /-ˈdramətɪst/
noun
More example sentences
  • Apart from the traditions of Italian stage farce it owes as much to silent comedy as the other films owe to the silent cinema's melodramatists.
  • The composer Zdenek Fibich - symphonist, opera composer, melodramatist, and composer of one of the most extended keyboard cycles written since Chopin - would have been l50.
  • As befits the melodramatist, the composer does not disdain ‘sensation music’.

melodramatize

Pronunciation: /-ˈdramətʌɪz/
(also melodramatise) verb
More example sentences
  • Mr. Bloom's position, in love with an unfaithful wife, too well-meaning and congenial to stand up for himself, is not less poignant because Joyce refrains from melodramatizing its poignancy.
  • I don't like to melodramatise, but I'll always cherish our time together, you know, just in case.
  • By allegory and by exaggeration the gangster genre melodramatized the social Darwinism of the marketplace, rendering it for popular consumption.

Definition of melodrama in: