[mel-uh-drah-muh, -dram-uh]
a dramatic form that does not observe the laws of cause and effect and that exaggerates emotion and emphasizes plot or action at the expense of characterization.
melodramatic behavior or events.
(in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries) a romantic dramatic composition with music interspersed.

1800–10; < French mélodrame, equivalent to mélo- (< Greek mélos song) + drame drama

melodramatist [mel-uh-dram-uh-tist, -drah-muh-] , noun
minimelodrama, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
melodrama (ˈmɛləˌdrɑːmə)
1.  a play, film, etc, characterized by extravagant action and emotion
2.  (formerly) a romantic drama characterized by sensational incident, music, and song
3.  overdramatic emotion or behaviour
4.  a poem or part of a play or opera spoken to a musical accompaniment
[C19: from French mélodrame, from Greek melos song + dramedrama]
pl n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1802, melodrame, "a stage-play in which songs were interspersed and music accompanied the action," from Fr. mélodrame, from Gk. melos "song" (see melody) + Fr. drame "drama" (see drama). Meaning "a romantic and sensational dramatic piece
with a happy ending" is from 1883, since this was often the form of the original melodramas.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

melodrama definition

A play or film in which the plot is often sensational and the characters may display exaggerated emotion.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Both articles are about the airline industry, one a prediction for the future,
  the other a melodrama about the past.
The formula is a red-hot combination of song, dance, and melodrama.
But add some twists and turns and you've got a real melodrama.
The messy melodrama of life-all the failed diets and fading friendships-becomes
  a sterile cartoon.
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