Definition of drama in English:



  • 1A play for theatre, radio, or television:

    ‘a gritty urban drama about growing up in Harlem’
    • ‘She's produced single dramas for Radio 4 and youth dramas for local radio.’
    • ‘TWO interesting Latin American fact-based dramas are scheduled for radio this weekend.’
    • ‘He scowls at the drama on the television and starts fiddling with the remote control.’
    • ‘He grinned to himself as he realized that the conversation in the back of his van sounded like an espionage drama on the radio.’
    • ‘The actor won his second Bafta of the year on Sunday night for his performance in the television drama.’
    • ‘The play is amusing and serious, and is a drama as well as being a musical of sorts.’
    • ‘One of several television dramas on nuclear issues in the 1980s, Threads is arguably the most visceral.’
    • ‘It is a television drama from Japan that is based on a classic novel of the same name.’
    • ‘But what this reading underplays is the extent to which the play is also a revenge drama.’
    • ‘Television dramas were usually adaptations of stage plays, and invariably about upper classes.’
    • ‘In addition to her contribution to music, she acted in a number of television dramas and feature films.’
    • ‘Her next step into the world of acting was performing in television dramas in Delhi, with occasional roles in stage plays and operas.’
    • ‘His screenplay was written specifically as a feature, not as a series of short television dramas.’
    • ‘Egyptian films and television dramas are avidly consumed not just in Egypt but all over the Arab world.’
    • ‘Snippets of music, radio dramas and newsreels play in the background and laundry hangs over the audience.’
    • ‘Since then he has clocked up a number of small parts in minor television dramas and films.’
    • ‘Radio too picked up the story, first in editorial commentary and then as a radio drama.’
    • ‘Anyone regularly watching the various hospital dramas on television may have a slightly biased view of serious illness.’
    • ‘So I bought CDs of radio dramas from overseas and played them at home, and then later in the car.’
    • ‘A number of films, dramas and television serials pepper us with these everyday.’
    play, show, piece, theatrical work, spectacle, dramatization
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    1. 1.1[mass noun] Plays as a genre or style of literature:
      ‘Renaissance drama’
      • ‘He was a pioneer in various genres including satire, literary criticism, and drama.’
      • ‘A bleak account of a nuclear attack on Kent and its aftermath, mixing drama with documentary styles.’
      • ‘She was a dynamic, passionate, and caring woman, who loved drama and literature as much as medicine.’
      • ‘She already had a degree and a diploma in drama, and at the age of 47, she got her Equity card.’
      • ‘Bringing modern styles to Chinese drama, they are cultivating their own fans.’
      • ‘I teach a course on black drama every other year and always include one of his plays.’
      • ‘We all know the genre, the made-for-TV drama, loosely or tightly based on a sensational news story.’
      • ‘In literature and drama lessons there is an increasing exposure to unsavoury material and language.’
      • ‘In his case the innovation was even a new style of combined music and drama that we now know as opera.’
      • ‘His first major book mixed journalism with drama, semiotics and literary criticism.’
      • ‘The appeal of such romantic drama, of course, is by no means confined to Australia.’
      • ‘The show is a refreshing change, and brings a wholly new element to the medical drama genre.’
      • ‘If there's a genre lower on the commercial totem pole than drama, it might be theatre criticism.’
      • ‘The second half of the evening was filled with drama, comedy and mime from the senior classes.’
      • ‘There were a range of optional subjects like Australian and American literature and drama.’
      • ‘But in the world of drama, he towers above other contemporaries.’
      • ‘The movies scheduled to be shown come from many genres including drama, comedy and thrillers.’
      • ‘She helps pay for her drama course at RADA by hiring out her services as a new form of advertising.’
      • ‘At A-level, he hopes to take English literature, economics, drama and sports studies.’
      • ‘News, soaps and home-grown comedy and drama are considered the most important genres’
    2. 1.2[mass noun] The activity of acting:
      ‘teachers who use drama are working in partnership with pupils’
      [as modifier] ‘drama school’
      • ‘They are vital, they are fresh, they are not cliquey and most of all they have heart for drama and acting.’
      • ‘He said the ground floor would have a sliding door to make separate areas for activities such as drama productions.’
      • ‘However talented dancer that she is, she soon became a dance and drama teacher at the school.’
      • ‘Edinburgh's official drama programme normally improves as it goes along.’
      • ‘Every evening there were activities like drama, art, swimming, sports or lectures.’
      • ‘A full schedule of dance, drama and art activities is planned for the coming year.’
      • ‘Then, in the late afternoon and evenings, it is used by youngsters in music clubs, drama groups and other activities.’
      • ‘Everyone is welcome to the acting workshops, regardless of drama experience.’
      • ‘For a number of years now, he has worked with young carers in the area offering drama workshops and activities.’
      • ‘The play had been written and produced by the school's drama teacher.’
      • ‘Inspired by his drama teacher, he began to perform his own sketches and shows.’
      • ‘For her audition she had to recite two drama pieces and perform three song and dance numbers.’
      • ‘He said a number of activities such as drama and cultural dances had been organised during the event.’
      • ‘One such is a professional actress and former drama teacher who directs for a hobby.’
      • ‘The money will go towards the school's planned amphitheatre and other drama activities.’
      • ‘She has choreographed for ballet, musical comedy, and drama productions.’
      • ‘Its sub groups included clubs for activities like drama, art and crafts, and country dancing.’
      • ‘She landed the TV role only weeks after leaving drama school, beating off hundreds of other hopefuls.’
      • ‘She is a former actress and drama teacher who lives not far from where I live now.’
      • ‘My drama teacher made us do monologues from Animal Farm, which is a sure-fire way of ruining any book.’
      acting, the theatre, the stage, the performing arts, dramatic art, dramatics, dramaturgy, stagecraft, theatricals, theatrics, the thespian art, show business
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  • 2An exciting, emotional, or unexpected event or circumstance:

    ‘a hostage drama’
    [mass noun] ‘an afternoon of high drama at Wembley’
    • ‘The drama of that event is so perfectly evoked you can feel the fear in the room and hear bones crunch as the executioner's axe strikes home.’
    • ‘It takes a look at the key events that saw the drama unfold.’
    • ‘No drama of course except for the popping of the exhaust and the head-turning styling of the car.’
    • ‘The drama of the event had the staffers buzzing but drew shrugs from the children.’
    • ‘The copy would be more vivid, pack a bigger impact and communicate better the drama of the event.’
    • ‘Intimate cinematography and the drama of events unfolding makes for intense, absorbing viewing.’
    • ‘We experienced our share of adventures and dramas before putting three members of the team on the summit.’
    • ‘I really enjoyed getting my head around the drama and the emotions.’
    • ‘That was only the start of the dramas for the racing squad.’
    • ‘One robber leapt over the counter's security screen and let the other through during the drama yesterday afternoon.’
    • ‘Over the past 65 years Bromley Little Theatre has had more dramas than a Shakespeare play.’
    • ‘The drama behind the scenes at most events was almost more exciting than what the audience witnessed.’
    • ‘Such anticipation as I had was more pleasure than pain, and the event itself passed without drama or incident.’
    • ‘This is all it takes for Daniel to find himself beaten and alone, a hostage in the drama of war.’
    • ‘You watch the emotional drama taking place inside and outside without getting caught up in it.’
    • ‘The drama started on the parade lap when he retired to the pits with a broken driveshaft.’
    • ‘These little incidents made me think about the countless dramas and crises that happen to people every day.’
    • ‘Mother arrived on Friday, not without drama, of course and stayed until this morning.’
    • ‘The drama is in the emotional defences each soldier employs to survive the horrors they face.’
    • ‘It's observation of character and situation is quite nice, but the drama is not only devoid of drama but also subtext.’
    catastrophe, calamity, cataclysm, emergency, disaster
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  • make a drama out of

    • informal Exaggerate the importance of (a minor problem or incident):

      ‘Gwyneth makes such a drama out of things’
      • ‘The Police inspector doesn't make a drama out of a crisis - despite having had more than his fair share during a distinguished career.’
      • ‘However, Sarah was not about to make a drama out of that crisis.’
      • ‘Nobody makes a drama out of a crisis quite like that team, and they might have good reason to after tonight.’
      • ‘His first song was played on his knees, pulling the mic down as if he were skulking in the corner of the room, wanting to play, but not make a drama out of it.’
      • ‘That way, when the car breaks down, the washing machine floods the kitchen floor or the telly goes ping you don't need to make a drama out of a crisis.’
      • ‘To misquote an old advertisement for an insurance company, I always make a drama out of a crisis.’
      • ‘It certainly doesn't seem like there's much time to make a drama out of the Illinois senate race.’
      • ‘Now that we are destroying false idols, the world has made a drama out of it.’
      • ‘What's the point in making a drama out of nothing?’
      • ‘It was a matter of becoming aware of the mad aspects of myself, without making a drama out of it, and while keeping my feet on the ground.’
      incident, scene, spectacle, crisis
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Early 16th century: via late Latin from Greek drama, from dran do, act.