a short opera, usually of a light and amusing character.
Origin of operetta
1760–70;Related formsop·er·et·tist, noun
diminutive of opera opera1
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for operetta
Historical Examples of operetta
Her only attempt in larger form is the operetta "Elle et Lui."
He decided to start with something easy and dash off an Operetta.
Although she did not say so, she was sorry that Mignon had been given a principal's part in the operetta.
Did Jerry tell you that Laurie Armitage has finished his operetta?
The operetta was to be sung in the Sanford Theatre, where the dress rehearsal had been held.
British Dictionary definitions for operetta
Derived Formsoperettist, noun
a type of comic or light-hearted opera
Word Origin for operetta
C18: from Italian: a small opera 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for operetta
"light opera," 1775, from Italian operetta, diminutive of opera.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Comic or lighthearted operas of the kind written by Gilbert and Sullivan. Operettas generally have a substantial amount of spoken (not sung) dialogue.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.