prima donna

[ pree-muh don-uh, prim-uh; Italian pree-mah dawn-nah ]
/ ˌpri mə ˈdɒn ə, ˌprɪm ə; Italian ˈpri mɑ ˈdɔn nɑ /

noun, plural pri·ma don·nas, Italian pri·me don·ne [pree-me dawn-ne] /ˈpri mɛ ˈdɔn nɛ/.

a first or principal female singer of an opera company.
a temperamental person; a person who takes adulation and privileged treatment as a right and reacts with petulance to criticism or inconvenience.

Origin of prima donna

1760–70; < Italian: literally, first lady; see prime, duenna
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prima donna

British Dictionary definitions for prima donna

prima donna

/ (ˈpriːmə ˈdɒnə) /

noun plural prima donnas

a female operatic star; diva
informal a temperamental person

Word Origin for prima donna

C19: from Italian: first lady
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 prima donna

prima donna

[ (pree-muh, prim-uh don-uh) ]

A vain and overly sensitive person who is temperamental and difficult to work with: “That Jenkins girl is a good gymnast, but she certainly is a prima donna.” In opera, the prima donna is the principal female soloist. From Italian, meaning “first lady.”

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.