Formerly, a kind of drama having a musical accompaniment to intensify the effect of certain scenes. Now, a drama abounding in romantic sentiment and agonizing situations, with a musical accompaniment only in parts which are especially thrilling or pathetic. In opera, a passage in which the orchestra plays a somewhat descriptive accompaniment, while the actor speaks; as, the melodrama in the gravedigging scene of Beethoven's "Fidelio".
a play with extravagant theatricality, superficial characterization, and predominance of plot and physical action. Example: "The Pedestrian," a melodrama by Ray Bradbury, 2m.