- 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.
- melodramatic behavior or events.
- (in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries) a romantic dramatic composition with music interspersed.
Origin of melodrama
Related Wordsserial, soap, melodrama, nostalgia, play, theater, farce, show, scene, production, comedy, tragedy, emotion, tension, excitement, spectacle, tumult, motivation, turmoil, thrill
Examples from the Web for melodrama
Hitchcock saw human behavior fresh, even in a tired form like melodrama.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
The man of melodrama was not perceived as a fit for the postwar world.Churchill Would Be Famous Today on the Strength of His Writing Alone
June 16, 2014
Though she has cause for melodrama, you will not find it in this book.House of Cads: Growing Up Amid the Weirdness of Bloomsbury
April 10, 2014
Plus, the melodrama belies the heavy moralizing that guides each Madea film.Tyler Perry’s Madea Minstrel Show
December 13, 2013
The tone veered wildly between camp, melodrama, realism, and messy amalgamations of the three.The 7 Most Ridiculous Moments From ‘Smash’ Season 1 (VIDEOS)
February 5, 2013
Yes, there was a fine scene when I went home that night, a Broadway melodrama.The Flying Mercury
Eleanor M. Ingram
Could any melodrama wish for a more appropriate mise-en-scne?The Mask
Staking all on high moments is melodrama with no comic relief.
I objected strongly to being treated as the villain of a melodrama.Love Among the Chickens
P. G. Wodehouse
We could hardly keep from laughing, it was so very like a melodrama.Bidwell's Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison
Austin Biron Bidwell
- a play, film, etc, characterized by extravagant action and emotion
- (formerly) a romantic drama characterized by sensational incident, music, and song
- overdramatic emotion or behaviour
- a poem or part of a play or opera spoken to a musical accompaniment
Word Origin and History for melodrama
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.