[ op-uh-ret-uh ]
/ ˌɒp əˈrɛt ə /


a short opera, usually of a light and amusing character.

Origin of operetta

1760–70; < Italian, diminutive of opera opera1

Related forms

op·er·et·tist, noun
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Examples from the Web for operetta

British Dictionary definitions for operetta


/ (ˌɒpəˈrɛtə) /


a type of comic or light-hearted opera

Derived Forms

operettist, noun

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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Culture definitions for operetta


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.