- Historical a sensational or romantic stage play with interspersed songs and an orchestral accompaniment
- a drama, as a play or film, characterized by exaggerated conflicts and emotions, stereotyped characters, etc.
- such dramas collectively
- any sensational, extravagantly emotional situation, behavior, etc.
Origin of melodramaaltered (by associated, association with drama) from French mélodrame from Classical Greek melos, a song + French drame from LL: see drama