- 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
Examples from the Web for prima donna
One might have thought she was applauding the prima-donna; but no, she was applauding herself.Manasseh
I must have the good-will of all, be obeyed by all, from prima-donna to scene-shifter.Great Musical Composers
George T. Ferris
"Prima-donna—prima-donna," she murmured softly and wonderingly.The Red Debt
Incidentally, it was learned that dolls were tabooed by this prima-donna in pinafores.
Some further random questions about the experiences of a prima-donna elicited the following item.
- a female operatic star; diva
- informal a temperamental person
Word Origin and History for prima donna
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.”