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See also: Melodrama


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From French mélodrame, the second element refashioned by analogy with drama; ultimately from Ancient Greek μέλος (melos, limb”, “member”, “song”, “tune”, “melody) + δρᾶμα (drāma, deed”, “theatrical act). Compare melodrame. Cognate to German Melodram and Spanish melodrama.


melodrama (countable and uncountable, plural melodramas or melodramata)

  1. (archaic, uncountable) A kind of drama having a musical accompaniment to intensify the effect of certain scenes.
  2. (countable) A drama abounding in romantic sentiment and agonizing situations, with a musical accompaniment only in parts which are especially thrilling or pathetic. In opera, a passage in which the orchestra plays a somewhat descriptive accompaniment, while the actor speaks; as, the melodrama in the grave digging scene of Beethoven's "Fidelio".
    • 1956, Delano Ames, chapter 9, Crime out of Mind[1]:
      Rudolf was the bold, bad Baron of traditional melodrama. Irene was young, as pretty as a picture, fresh from a music academy in England. He was the scion of an ancient noble family; she an orphan without money or friends.
  3. (uncountable, figuratively, colloquial) Any situation or action which is blown out of proportion.


Derived terms[edit]



  • IPA(key): /mêlodraːma/
  • Hyphenation: me‧lo‧dra‧ma


mȅlodrāma f (Cyrillic spelling ме̏лодра̄ма)

  1. melodrama