[ tel-uh-noh-vel-uh ]


  1. (in Latin America and Hispanic communities) a television soap opera, usually having a limited number of episodes.

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of telenovela1

First recorded in 1960–65; from Spanish, equivalent to tele- tele- 1( def ) + novela “novel, serial drama”; novel 1( def )
Discover More

Example Sentences

Fiallo’s show “Cristal,” which premiered on Venezuelan television in 1985, became the most popular telenovela in the history of Spain, reaching as many as 18 million people a night, according to the Madrid daily El País.

In a phone interview, he added that while telenovelas traditionally catered to women, most screenwriters were men.

They marry and start a family, while she transitions from radio to television and writes prime-time telenovelas, bringing a typewriter into the hospital to keep working after she gives birth.

Reaching an audience of millions, she signs a reported eight-figure television contract and becomes known as “la madre de la telenovela,” the mother of the telenovela.

Such was the life of Delia Fiallo, who said she was “born to write telenovelas,” the Spanish-language soap operas in which love usually conquers all, including class divides and disapproving stepmothers.

The love scene was just a sex dream—explaining a bit why it was so over the top, like an R-rated telenovela.

Her thwarted escape from Rio was the stuff of a bad telenovela.

The press is eager to cover the soap opera, and the public seems eager to engage in the real-life telenovela.

One D.C. wag compares the whole tawdry mess to a steamy telenovela, and even casts the key roles.

Forget reality TV; this entire saga has the makings of a great telenovela.