from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A prose or verse composition, especially one telling a serious story, that is intended for representation by actors impersonating the characters and performing the dialogue and action.
  • noun A serious narrative work or program for television, radio, or the cinema.
  • noun Theatrical plays of a particular kind or period.
  • noun The art or practice of writing or producing dramatic works.
  • noun A situation or succession of events in real life having the dramatic progression or emotional effect characteristic of a play.
  • noun The quality or condition of being dramatic.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A story put into action, or a story of human life told by actual representation of persons by persons, with imitation of language, voice, gesture, dress, and accessories or surrounding conditions, the whole produced with reference to truth or probability, and with or without the aid of music, dancing, painting, and decoration; a play.
  • noun A composition in verse or prose, or in both, presenting in dialogue a course of human action, designed, or seemingly designed, to be spoken in character and represented on the stage; a form of imitated and represented action regulated by literary canons; the description of a story converted into the action of a play, and thereby constituting a department of literary art: as, the classic drama; the Hindu drama; the Elizabethan drama.
  • noun Dramatic representation with its adjuncts; theatrical entertainment: as, he has a strong taste for the drama.
  • noun Action, humanly considered; a course of connected acts, involving motive, procedure, and purpose, and by a related sequence of events or episodes leading up to a catastrophe or crowning issue.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A composition, in prose or poetry, accommodated to action, and intended to exhibit a picture of human life, or to depict a series of grave or humorous actions of more than ordinary interest, tending toward some striking result. It is commonly designed to be spoken and represented by actors on the stage.
  • noun A series of real events invested with a dramatic unity and interest.
  • noun Dramatic composition and the literature pertaining to or illustrating it; dramatic literature.
  • noun the kind of drama whose aim is to present a tale or history in scenes, and whose plays (like those of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and others) are stories told in dialogue by actors on the stage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A composition, normally in prose, telling a story and intended to be represented by actors impersonating the characters and speaking the dialogue
  • noun Such a work for television, radio or the cinema (usually one that is not a comedy)
  • noun Theatrical plays in general
  • noun A dramatic situation in real life
  • noun slang Rumor, lying or exaggerated reaction to life events; melodrama; an angry dispute or scene; intrigue or spiteful interpersonal maneuvering.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a dramatic work intended for performance by actors on a stage
  • noun an episode that is turbulent or highly emotional
  • noun the literary genre of works intended for the theater
  • noun the quality of being arresting or highly emotional


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin drāma, drāmat-, from Greek, from drān, to do, perform.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek δρᾶμα (drama, "an act, a theatrical act, a play"), from δράω (drao, "to act, to take action, to achieve")


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