Definition of drama in English:



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

    ‘a gritty urban drama about growing up in Harlem’
    • ‘Her next step into the world of acting was performing in television dramas in Delhi, with occasional roles in stage plays and operas.’
    • ‘Since then he has clocked up a number of small parts in minor television dramas and films.’
    • ‘He grinned to himself as he realized that the conversation in the back of his van sounded like an espionage drama on the radio.’
    • ‘He scowls at the drama on the television and starts fiddling with the remote control.’
    • ‘Egyptian films and television dramas are avidly consumed not just in Egypt but all over the Arab world.’
    • ‘It is a television drama from Japan that is based on a classic novel of the same name.’
    • ‘His screenplay was written specifically as a feature, not as a series of short television dramas.’
    • ‘So I bought CDs of radio dramas from overseas and played them at home, and then later in the car.’
    • ‘Television dramas were usually adaptations of stage plays, and invariably about upper classes.’
    • ‘Radio too picked up the story, first in editorial commentary and then as a radio drama.’
    • ‘TWO interesting Latin American fact-based dramas are scheduled for radio this weekend.’
    • ‘The play is amusing and serious, and is a drama as well as being a musical of sorts.’
    • ‘But what this reading underplays is the extent to which the play is also a revenge drama.’
    • ‘Anyone regularly watching the various hospital dramas on television may have a slightly biased view of serious illness.’
    • ‘She's produced single dramas for Radio 4 and youth dramas for local radio.’
    • ‘One of several television dramas on nuclear issues in the 1980s, Threads is arguably the most visceral.’
    • ‘The actor won his second Bafta of the year on Sunday night for his performance in the television drama.’
    • ‘Snippets of music, radio dramas and newsreels play in the background and laundry hangs over the audience.’
    • ‘A number of films, dramas and television serials pepper us with these everyday.’
    • ‘In addition to her contribution to music, she acted in a number of television dramas and feature films.’
    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 show is a refreshing change, and brings a wholly new element to the medical drama genre.’
      • ‘He was a pioneer in various genres including satire, literary criticism, and drama.’
      • ‘There were a range of optional subjects like Australian and American literature 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.’
      • ‘But in the world of drama, he towers above other contemporaries.’
      • ‘Bringing modern styles to Chinese drama, they are cultivating their own fans.’
      • ‘She already had a degree and a diploma in drama, and at the age of 47, she got her Equity card.’
      • ‘In his case the innovation was even a new style of combined music and drama that we now know as opera.’
      • ‘In literature and drama lessons there is an increasing exposure to unsavoury material and language.’
      • ‘I teach a course on black drama every other year and always include one of his plays.’
      • ‘His first major book mixed journalism with drama, semiotics and literary criticism.’
      • ‘The second half of the evening was filled with drama, comedy and mime from the senior classes.’
      • ‘At A-level, he hopes to take English literature, economics, drama and sports studies.’
      • ‘We all know the genre, the made-for-TV drama, loosely or tightly based on a sensational news story.’
      • ‘News, soaps and home-grown comedy and drama are considered the most important genres’
      • ‘She helps pay for her drama course at RADA by hiring out her services as a new form of advertising.’
      • ‘If there's a genre lower on the commercial totem pole than drama, it might be theatre criticism.’
      • ‘The movies scheduled to be shown come from many genres including drama, comedy and thrillers.’
      • ‘The appeal of such romantic drama, of course, is by no means confined to Australia.’
    2. 1.2mass noun The activity of acting.
      ‘teachers who use drama are working in partnership with pupils’
      as modifier ‘drama school’
      • ‘Inspired by his drama teacher, he began to perform his own sketches and shows.’
      • ‘Everyone is welcome to the acting workshops, regardless of drama experience.’
      • ‘One such is a professional actress and former drama teacher who directs for a hobby.’
      • ‘He said the ground floor would have a sliding door to make separate areas for activities such as drama productions.’
      • ‘Edinburgh's official drama programme normally improves as it goes along.’
      • ‘Every evening there were activities like drama, art, swimming, sports or lectures.’
      • ‘She has choreographed for ballet, musical comedy, and drama productions.’
      • ‘However talented dancer that she is, she soon became a dance and drama teacher at the school.’
      • ‘For her audition she had to recite two drama pieces and perform three song and dance numbers.’
      • ‘Then, in the late afternoon and evenings, it is used by youngsters in music clubs, drama groups and other activities.’
      • ‘For a number of years now, he has worked with young carers in the area offering drama workshops and activities.’
      • ‘A full schedule of dance, drama and art activities is planned for the coming year.’
      • ‘They are vital, they are fresh, they are not cliquey and most of all they have heart for drama and acting.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He said a number of activities such as drama and cultural dances had been organised during the event.’
      • ‘The play had been written and produced by the school's drama teacher.’
      • ‘The money will go towards the school's planned amphitheatre and other drama activities.’
      • ‘She landed the TV role only weeks after leaving drama school, beating off hundreds of other hopefuls.’
      • ‘Its sub groups included clubs for activities like drama, art and crafts, and country dancing.’
      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’
    • ‘That was only the start of the dramas for the racing squad.’
    • ‘The drama of the event had the staffers buzzing but drew shrugs from the children.’
    • ‘The drama started on the parade lap when he retired to the pits with a broken driveshaft.’
    • ‘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 is in the emotional defences each soldier employs to survive the horrors they face.’
    • ‘I really enjoyed getting my head around the drama and the emotions.’
    • ‘These little incidents made me think about the countless dramas and crises that happen to people every day.’
    • ‘We experienced our share of adventures and dramas before putting three members of the team on the summit.’
    • ‘The drama behind the scenes at most events was almost more exciting than what the audience witnessed.’
    • ‘It's observation of character and situation is quite nice, but the drama is not only devoid of drama but also subtext.’
    • ‘This is all it takes for Daniel to find himself beaten and alone, a hostage in the drama of war.’
    • ‘Mother arrived on Friday, not without drama, of course and stayed until this morning.’
    • ‘Intimate cinematography and the drama of events unfolding makes for intense, absorbing viewing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Such anticipation as I had was more pleasure than pain, and the event itself passed without drama or incident.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You watch the emotional drama taking place inside and outside without getting caught up in it.’
    • ‘The copy would be more vivid, pack a bigger impact and communicate better the drama of the event.’
    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’
      • ‘However, Sarah was not about to make a drama out of that crisis.’
      • ‘What's the point in making a drama out of nothing?’
      • ‘To misquote an old advertisement for an insurance company, I always make a drama out of a crisis.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Police inspector doesn't make a drama out of a crisis - despite having had more than his fair share during a distinguished career.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nobody makes a drama out of a crisis quite like that team, and they might have good reason to after tonight.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’.