Definition of prima donna in English:

prima donna


  • 1The chief female singer in an opera or opera company.

    • ‘Surrendering my role as protagonist in my own life would be as difficult as the prima donna stepping back to sing with the chorus while awarding the aria to her own skinny, prepubescent daughter.’
    • ‘Thus Sandor quickly finds himself forced to save the skin of his prima donna, the heart of his composer and soul of his operetta.’
    • ‘There's even audience participation when their prima donna, Madam Rodrigue, comes onstage.’
    • ‘But, there is no denying the fact that she has been among the first among equals to replace Lata Mangeshkar or Asha Bhonsale in being the prima donna of female playback singing.’
    • ‘Nijinsky's modern physicality created a renaissance of male dancing, a revolution that rivaled the supremacy of the diva, the prima donna, the ballerina.’
    leading soprano, leading lady, diva, star, opera star, protagonist, heroine, principal singer, female lead
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    1. 1.1 A very temperamental person with an inflated view of their own talent or importance.
      as modifier ‘the prima-donna behaviour of some of the stars’
      • ‘I dislike the infantilism and self-absorption of writers very much: the sense of entitlement, the prima donna behavior, the license to behave badly, even cruelly, because one is an artiste.’
      • ‘This family is fragile enough without you pulling a prima donna on us.’
      • ‘After a comment from someone in the audience, the pampered prima donna threw her glass of wine in the crowd and walked offstage, never to be heard from again… until now.’
      • ‘Megan laughed, saying, ‘Looks like our star is becoming a prima donna.’’
      • ‘Giving his views on Evans's performance as a witness, the judge was scathing about his personality, describing him as intolerant with the temperament of a prima donna.’
      • ‘This prima donna's behaviour has become so appalling that her colleagues have started making official complaints about her.’
      • ‘She looked deeply embarrassed at the prima donna antics of her charge.’
      • ‘Barbara Boothroyd is certainly up to the challenging role of a prima donna who is used to everybody bowing before her.’
      • ‘But the fourth member of the original quartet, ever the prima donna, refuses to co-operate.’
      • ‘I have always been a bit of a prima donna sleeper, noise and light bother me and I have a tough time getting comfortable.’
      • ‘This whole Internet thing has gone right to his head and he's become a prima-donna about being regarded an expert on safety and an Internet celebrity.’
      • ‘That's changing a little, but for most guys who were star players, you're a prima donna, you should be in community relations, signing autographs at the mall.’
      • ‘The trappings of the prima donna can never be a substitute for genuine musicianship.’
      • ‘She was the star of the show, and she behaved like an absolute prima donna.’
      • ‘She also encourages clients to combat the prima donna reputation often attached to the artistic community by combining their optimistic temperaments with a positive enjoyment of their commissioners' unique ideas.’
      • ‘The atmosphere of controlled hysteria is ultimately tempered by the amount of time it takes the boys to get to the stage - perhaps a sign of impending prima donna syndrome?’
      • ‘By all accounts he is also a real team player and not the prima donna that his record might have made him.’
      • ‘Architects can help a little in all such areas, but only if they forget their prima-donna role and learn from the poor, who can be (far from always) remarkably ingenious and inventive with the slender resources they can command.’
      • ‘This unprepossessing, humble and exceptionally talented tenor (lacking the prima donna attitude of far too many of his professional colleagues) has been hailed as the greatest living tenor in the world today.’
      • ‘His prima-donna star has walked off his latest movie, which looks increasingly like his last picture.’
      temperamental person, unpredictable person, self-important person
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Late 18th century: Italian, literally ‘first lady’.


prima donna

/ˌpriːmə ˈdɒnə/