follow Dictionary.com

Why turkey has the same name as Turkey

soap opera

[op-er-uh, op-ruh] /ˈɒp ər ə, ˈɒp rə/
noun
1.
a radio or television series depicting the interconnected lives of many characters often in a sentimental, melodramatic way.
Origin
1935-1940
1935-40, Americanism; so called because soap manufacturers were among the original sponsors of such programs
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for soap-opera

soap opera

noun
1.
a serialized drama, usually dealing with domestic themes and characterized by sentimentality, broadcast on radio or television
Word Origin
C20: so called because manufacturers of soap were typical sponsors
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for soap-opera

soap opera

n.

"melodramatic radio serial" (later extended to television), 1939; so-called because sponsors often were soap manufacturers, from earlier horse opera "a Western" (1927). Shortened form soap for this first attested 1943.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for soap-opera

soap opera

modifier

: The average man and woman in this country live a soap-opera existence

noun phrase
  1. A radio or television daily dramatic series typically showing the painful, passionate, and riveting amours and disasters of more or less ordinary people: a new soap opera which threatens to out-misery all the others
  2. A life or incidents in life that resemble such shows: You want to hear the latest in my never-ending soap opera?

[1939+; fr the fact that in radio days such shows were typically sponsored by soap manufacturers]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with soap-opera

soap opera

.
A radio or television serial with stock characters in domestic dramas that are noted for being sentimental and melodramatic. For example, She just watches soap operas all day long. This term originated in the mid-1930s and was so called because the sponsors of the earliest such radio shows were often soap manufacturers.
.
Real-life situation resembling one that might occur in a soap opera, as in She just goes on and on about her various medical and family problems, one long soap opera. [ 1940s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for soap opera

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for soap

6
7
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with soap-opera

Nearby words for soap-opera