- Enter a word for the dictionary definition.
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Opera \Op"er*a\ ([o^]p"[~e]r*[.a]), n. [It., fr. opera work, composition, opposed to an improvisation, fr. L. opera pains, work, fr. opus, operis, work, labor: cf. F. op['e]ra. See Operate.] 1. A drama, either tragic or comic, of which music forms an essential part; a drama wholly or mostly sung, consisting of recitative, arias, choruses, duets, trios, etc., with orchestral accompaniment, preludes, and interludes, together with appropriate costumes, scenery, and action; a lyric drama. [1913 Webster] 2. The score of a musical drama, either written or in print; a play set to music. [1913 Webster] 3. The house where operas are exhibited. [1913 Webster] Opera bouffe [F. op['e]ra opera + bouffe comic, It. buffo], Opera buffa [It.], light, farcical, burlesque opera. Opera box, a partially inclosed portion of the auditorium of an opera house for the use of a small private party. Opera comique [F.], comic or humorous opera. Opera flannel, a light flannel, highly finished. --Knight. Opera girl or Opera girls (Bot.), an East Indian plant (Mantisia saltatoria) of the Ginger family, sometimes seen in hothouses. It has curious flowers which have some resemblance to a ballet dancer, whence the popular name. Called also dancing girls. Opera glass, a short telescope with concave eye lenses of low power, usually made double, that is, with a tube and set of glasses for each eye; a lorgnette; -- so called because adapted for use at the opera, theater, etc. Opera hat, a gentleman's folding hat. Opera house, specifically, a theater devoted to the performance of operas. Opera seria [It.], serious or tragic opera; grand opera. [1913 Webster]