melodrama


melodrama

noun

  1. a dramatic form that does not observe the laws of cause and effect and that exaggerates emotion and emphasizes plot or action at the expense of characterization.
  2. melodramatic behavior or events.
  3. (in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries) a romantic dramatic composition with music interspersed.

noun

  1. a play, film, etc, characterized by extravagant action and emotion
  2. (formerly) a romantic drama characterized by sensational incident, music, and song
  3. overdramatic emotion or behaviour
  4. a poem or part of a play or opera spoken to a musical accompaniment

n.1784 (1782 as melo drame), “a stage-play in which songs were interspersed and music accompanied the action,” from French mélodrame (18c.), from Greek melos “song” (see melody) + French drame “drama” (see drama). Meaning “a romantic and sensational dramatic piece with a happy ending” is from 1883, because this was often the form of the original melodramas. Also from French are Spanish melodrama, Italian melodramma, German melodram. Related: Melodramatize. A play or film in which the plot is often sensational and the characters may display exaggerated emotion.

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