• WordNet 3.6
    • n melodrama an extravagant comedy in which action is more salient than characterization
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Melodrama Formerly, a kind of drama having a musical accompaniment to intensify the effect of certain scenes. Now, a drama abounding in romantic sentiment and agonizing situations, with a musical accompaniment only in parts which are especially thrilling or pathetic. In opera, a passage in which the orchestra plays a somewhat descriptive accompaniment, while the actor speaks; as, the melodrama in the gravedigging scene of Beethoven's “Fidelio”.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n melodrama Properly, a dramatic composition in which music is used, or an opera in the broad sense.
    • n melodrama A drama with incidental music, or an operetta with more or less spoken dialogue; a piece in which speech and song (or instrumental music) alternate. Also melodram.
    • n melodrama A form of the drama characterized by compositions in which the music is of but moderate importance or value, and the plot and scenes are of a decidedly romantic and sensational nature.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Melodrama mel-o-dram′a a kind of romantic and sensational drama, formerly largely intermixed with songs—also Mel′odrame
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  • Elbert Hubbard
    “One can play comedy, two are required for melodrama, but a tragedy demands three.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. mélodrame, fr. Gr. me`los song + dra^ma drama
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. melos, a song, drama, a play.


In literature:

It was like living a melodrama.
"Ten From Infinity" by Paul W. Fairman
The melodrama proved even more thrilling than had been expected.
"A College Girl" by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
Darius had heard the news as though it had been a message brought on horseback in a melodrama.
"Clayhanger" by Arnold Bennett
A long-forgotten novel, called "Coming Out; or, The Field of the Forty Footsteps," was founded on this legend, as was also a melodrama.
"Holborn and Bloomsbury" by Sir Walter Besant
A good deal of drinking, too, unfortunately, went on, and the results were occasional melodramas, and sometimes serious rows.
"The Golden Dream" by R.M. Ballantyne
Since when have you gone into melodrama?
"The Genius" by Margaret Horton Potter
Why, this is scarcely on the level with cheap melodrama.
"The Lure of the Mask" by Harold MacGrath
That writer is not innocent of the crudest melodrama.
"Personality in Literature" by Rolfe Arnold Scott-James
These were preposterous banalities that distinguished life, unedited, from melodrama.
"Erik Dorn" by Ben Hecht
It is a great drama, but it is still a melodrama.
"Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens" by G. K. Chesterton
The Bishop of Winchester had arranged in his imagination a splendid melodrama.
"The Reign of Mary Tudor" by James Anthony Froude
Yet his own pulse stirred with the sheer melodrama of the scene.
"The Highgrader" by William MacLeod Raine
That was a piece of melodrama which might suffice with many of her class.
"The Albert Gate Mystery" by Louis Tracy
One can play comedy; two are required for melodrama; but a tragedy demands three.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13" by Elbert Hubbard
You have examples of this in any touring melodrama.
"Nights in London" by Thomas Burke
It sounds like a melodrama, doesn't it?
"The Fifth Ace" by Douglas Grant
It was like a plot in one of his own preposterous melodramas!
"The Man from the Bitter Roots" by Caroline Lockhart
Few ingredients were now lacking for a typical melodrama.
"The Story of the Outlaw" by Emerson Hough
Collins has done a melodrama (a regular old-style melodrama), in which there is a very good notion.
"The Letters of Charles Dickens" by Charles Dickens
And in what turgid melodrama does not just such an episode occur?
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine

In news:

An addiction to creating melodrama in a misguided quest for excitement.
"Any Day Now," about a gay couple in '70s Los Angeles trying to adopt a boy with Down syndrome, has weepy, movie-of-the-week melodrama written all over it.
"The Words" is, as its name suggests, a wordy melodrama about a young writer, Rory Jansen ( Bradley Cooper), who finishes his first novel, three years in the making — which is promptly rejected.
Amour Boasts No Melodrama .
'Playing for Keeps' wavers between comedy, melodrama .
Don't hold back praise, courtesy on the trail, student perspectives, council control, thankful for compost, budget melodrama .
Melodrama tickets go on sale December 1.
A Late Quartet' better on music than melodrama .
Melodrama plays predictable notes.
Lindsay Lohan's Latest 'Canyons' Trailer Goes for Melodrama (Video).
UNM presents 'Zastrozzi' melodrama Nov 9-18.
The Julian Triangle Club presents its 56th annual Old Time Melodrama every weekend in October.
The Julian Triangle Club presents its 56th annual Old Time Melodrama .
Embracing, Then Rejecting, A Life Of Melodrama .
This year, Gonzales-Muñoz plays alongside her grandfather, Cliff (who portrays a gay barber), a veteran of 11 Melodramas .