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opera1

[op-er-uh, op-ruh] /ˈɒp ər ə, ˈɒp rə/
noun
1.
an extended dramatic composition, in which all parts are sung to instrumental accompaniment, that usually includes arias, choruses, and recitatives, and that sometimes includes ballet.
2.
the form or branch of musical and dramatic art represented by such compositions.
3.
the score or the words of such a composition.
4.
a performance of one:
to go to the opera.
5.
(sometimes initial capital letter) an opera house or resident company:
the Paris Opera.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; < Italian: work, opera < Latin, plural of opus service, work, a work, opus

opera2

[oh-per-uh, op-er-uh] /ˈoʊ pər ə, ˈɒp ər ə/
noun, Chiefly Music.
1.
a plural of opus.

opus

[oh-puh s] /ˈoʊ pəs/
noun, plural opuses or especially for 1, 2, opera
[oh-per-uh, op-er-uh] /ˈoʊ pər ə, ˈɒp ər ə/ (Show IPA)
1.
a musical composition.
2.
one of the compositions of a composer, usually numbered according to the order of publication.
3.
a literary work or composition, as a book:
Have you read her latest opus?
Abbreviation: op.
Origin
1695-1705; < Latin: work, labor, a work
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for opera
  • At the border between opera and musical comedy, the barbed wire is obviously down.
  • We usually think of opera as a serious idiom that dramatizes the lives of illustrious characters.
  • But the comic opera has meanwhile crystallised doubts about the quality of his leadership.
  • The story of her ascent rivals a modern-day soap opera.
  • Big band in the afternoon, and opera in the evening.
  • In any case, you've landed yourself in a soap opera that you could have avoided by being more careful in the past.
  • The cinemas' problem is the opposite of that faced by art galleries, theatres and opera houses.
  • Among all the chaos, a famous opera singer leaned out his hotel window and sang.
  • She wore a miniskirt, fishnet stockings, opera gloves to her elbows.
  • opera offers a few different choices for where to put your tabs.
British Dictionary definitions for opera

opera1

/ˈɒpərə; ˈɒprə/
noun
1.
an extended dramatic work in which music constitutes a dominating feature, either consisting of separate recitatives, arias, and choruses, or having a continuous musical structure
2.
the branch of music or drama represented by such works
3.
the score, libretto, etc, of an opera
4.
a theatre where opera is performed
Word Origin
C17: via Italian from Latin: work, a work, plural of opus work

opera2

/ˈɒpərə/
noun
1.
a plural of opus

opus

/ˈəʊpəs; ˈɔp-/
noun (pl) opuses, opera (ˈɒpərə)
1.
an artistic composition, esp a musical work
2.
(often capital) (usually followed by a number) a musical composition by a particular composer, generally catalogued in order of publication: Beethoven's opus 61 is his violin concerto
op.
Word Origin
C18: from Latin: a work; compare Sanskrit apas work
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for opera
n.

"a drama sung" [Klein], 1640s, from Italian opera, literally "a work, labor, composition," from Latin opera "work, effort" (Latin plural regarded as feminine singular), secondary (abstract) noun from operari "to work," from opus (genitive operis) "a work" (see opus). Defined in "Elson's Music Dictionary" as, "a form of musical composition evolved shortly before 1600, by some enthusiastic Florentine amateurs who sought to bring back the Greek plays to the modern stage."

No good opera plot can be sensible. ... People do not sing when they are feeling sensible. [W.H. Auden, 1961]
As a branch of dramatic art, it is attested from 1759. First record of opera glass "small binoculars for use at the theater" is from 1738. Soap opera is first recorded 1939, as a disparaging reference to daytime radio dramas sponsored by soap manufacturers.

opus

n.

"a work, composition," especially a musical one, 1809, from Latin opus "a work, labor, exertion" (source of Italian opera, French oeuvre, Spanish obra), from PIE root *op- (Germanic *ob-) "to work, produce in abundance," originally of agriculture later extended to religious acts (cf. Sanskrit apas- "work, religious act;" Avestan hvapah- "good deed;" Old High German uoben "to start work, to practice, to honor;" German üben "to exercise, practice;" Dutch oefenen, Old Norse æfa, Danish øve "to exercise, practice;" Old English æfnan "to perform, work, do," afol "power"). The plural, seldom used as such, is opera.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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opera in Culture

opera definition


A musical drama that is totally or mostly sung. A&idie;da, Carmen, and Don Giovanni are some celebrated operas. A light, comic opera is often called an operetta.

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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Slang definitions & phrases for opera

opera

Related Terms

horse opera, oater, soap opera, space opera


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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