Definition of drama in English:



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

    ‘a gritty urban drama about growing up in Harlem’
    • ‘But what this reading underplays is the extent to which the play is also a revenge drama.’
    • ‘One of several television dramas on nuclear issues in the 1980s, Threads is arguably the most visceral.’
    • ‘Anyone regularly watching the various hospital dramas on television may have a slightly biased view of serious illness.’
    • ‘His screenplay was written specifically as a feature, not as a series of short television dramas.’
    • ‘He scowls at the drama on the television and starts fiddling with the remote control.’
    • ‘TWO interesting Latin American fact-based dramas are scheduled for radio this weekend.’
    • ‘Since then he has clocked up a number of small parts in minor television dramas and films.’
    • ‘A number of films, dramas and television serials pepper us with these everyday.’
    • ‘Radio too picked up the story, first in editorial commentary and then as a radio drama.’
    • ‘So I bought CDs of radio dramas from overseas and played them at home, and then later in the car.’
    • ‘She's produced single dramas for Radio 4 and youth dramas for local radio.’
    • ‘The actor won his second Bafta of the year on Sunday night for his performance in the television drama.’
    • ‘It is a television drama from Japan that is based on a classic novel of the same name.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The play is amusing and serious, and is a drama as well as being a musical of sorts.’
    • ‘He grinned to himself as he realized that the conversation in the back of his van sounded like an espionage drama on the radio.’
    • ‘In addition to her contribution to music, she acted in a number of television dramas and feature films.’
    • ‘Television dramas were usually adaptations of stage plays, and invariably about upper classes.’
    • ‘Her next step into the world of acting was performing in television dramas in Delhi, with occasional roles in stage plays and operas.’
    play, show, piece, theatrical work, spectacle, dramatization
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    1. 1.1mass noun Plays as a genre or style of literature.
      ‘Renaissance drama’
      • ‘The second half of the evening was filled with drama, comedy and mime from the senior classes.’
      • ‘News, soaps and home-grown comedy and drama are considered the most important genres’
      • ‘In his case the innovation was even a new style of combined music and drama that we now know as opera.’
      • ‘She already had a degree and a diploma in drama, and at the age of 47, she got her Equity card.’
      • ‘The movies scheduled to be shown come from many genres including drama, comedy and thrillers.’
      • ‘At A-level, he hopes to take English literature, economics, drama and sports studies.’
      • ‘There were a range of optional subjects like Australian and American literature and drama.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But in the world of drama, he towers above other contemporaries.’
      • ‘His first major book mixed journalism with drama, semiotics and literary criticism.’
      • ‘Bringing modern styles to Chinese drama, they are cultivating their own fans.’
      • ‘A bleak account of a nuclear attack on Kent and its aftermath, mixing drama with documentary styles.’
      • ‘She helps pay for her drama course at RADA by hiring out her services as a new form of advertising.’
      • ‘He was a pioneer in various genres including satire, literary criticism, and drama.’
      • ‘We all know the genre, the made-for-TV drama, loosely or tightly based on a sensational news story.’
      • ‘I teach a course on black drama every other year and always include one of his plays.’
      • ‘She was a dynamic, passionate, and caring woman, who loved drama and literature as much as medicine.’
      • ‘The appeal of such romantic drama, of course, is by no means confined to Australia.’
      • ‘In literature and drama lessons there is an increasing exposure to unsavoury material and language.’
    2. 1.2mass noun The activity of acting.
      ‘teachers who use drama are working in partnership with pupils’
      as modifier ‘drama school’
      • ‘My drama teacher made us do monologues from Animal Farm, which is a sure-fire way of ruining any book.’
      • ‘He said a number of activities such as drama and cultural dances had been organised during the event.’
      • ‘The money will go towards the school's planned amphitheatre and other drama activities.’
      • ‘He said the ground floor would have a sliding door to make separate areas for activities such as drama productions.’
      • ‘For her audition she had to recite two drama pieces and perform three song and dance numbers.’
      • ‘Everyone is welcome to the acting workshops, regardless of drama experience.’
      • ‘A full schedule of dance, drama and art activities is planned for the coming year.’
      • ‘The play had been written and produced by the school's drama teacher.’
      • ‘For a number of years now, he has worked with young carers in the area offering drama workshops and activities.’
      • ‘Inspired by his drama teacher, he began to perform his own sketches and shows.’
      • ‘They are vital, they are fresh, they are not cliquey and most of all they have heart for drama and acting.’
      • ‘Then, in the late afternoon and evenings, it is used by youngsters in music clubs, drama groups and other activities.’
      • ‘She has choreographed for ballet, musical comedy, and drama productions.’
      • ‘She landed the TV role only weeks after leaving drama school, beating off hundreds of other hopefuls.’
      • ‘Every evening there were activities like drama, art, swimming, sports or lectures.’
      • ‘Edinburgh's official drama programme normally improves as it goes along.’
      • ‘Its sub groups included clubs for activities like drama, art and crafts, and country dancing.’
      • ‘However talented dancer that she is, she soon became a dance and drama teacher at the school.’
      • ‘She is a former actress and drama teacher who lives not far from where I live now.’
      • ‘One such is a professional actress and former drama teacher who directs for a hobby.’
      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’
    • ‘One robber leapt over the counter's security screen and let the other through during the drama yesterday afternoon.’
    • ‘The copy would be more vivid, pack a bigger impact and communicate better the drama of the event.’
    • ‘It takes a look at the key events that saw the drama unfold.’
    • ‘Intimate cinematography and the drama of events unfolding makes for intense, absorbing viewing.’
    • ‘It's observation of character and situation is quite nice, but the drama is not only devoid of drama but also subtext.’
    • ‘I really enjoyed getting my head around the drama and the emotions.’
    • ‘Mother arrived on Friday, not without drama, of course and stayed until this morning.’
    • ‘You watch the emotional drama taking place inside and outside without getting caught up in it.’
    • ‘We experienced our share of adventures and dramas before putting three members of the team on the summit.’
    • ‘That was only the start of the dramas for the racing squad.’
    • ‘The drama started on the parade lap when he retired to the pits with a broken driveshaft.’
    • ‘No drama of course except for the popping of the exhaust and the head-turning styling of the car.’
    • ‘The drama behind the scenes at most events was almost more exciting than what the audience witnessed.’
    • ‘The drama of the event had the staffers buzzing but drew shrugs from the children.’
    • ‘Such anticipation as I had was more pleasure than pain, and the event itself passed without drama or incident.’
    • ‘The drama is in the emotional defences each soldier employs to survive the horrors they face.’
    • ‘Over the past 65 years Bromley Little Theatre has had more dramas than a Shakespeare play.’
    • ‘These little incidents made me think about the countless dramas and crises that happen to people every day.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is all it takes for Daniel to find himself beaten and alone, a hostage in the drama of war.’
    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’
      • ‘To misquote an old advertisement for an insurance company, I always make a drama out of a crisis.’
      • ‘However, Sarah was not about to make a drama out of that crisis.’
      • ‘The Police inspector doesn't make a drama out of a crisis - despite having had more than his fair share during a distinguished career.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nobody makes a drama out of a crisis quite like that team, and they might have good reason to after tonight.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      incident, scene, spectacle, crisis
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Early 16th century: via late Latin from Greek drama, from dran ‘do, act’.