Student Dictionary

One entry found for horse opera.
Main Entry: horse opera
Function: noun
: 2WESTERN
Word History You have probably noticed that while there may be lots of horses in a cowboy film, there is usually no singing. The word OPERA is used in this term because the exciting stories and the overacting reminded people of operas. Horse opera, in reference to a western, dates from the late 1920s. About ten years later the term soap opera came to be used for a radio and still later for a television drama that was frequently sponsored by a soap manufacturer. By the late 1940s the term space opera came into use for a drama involving space travelers and beings on other planets.

Pronunciation Symbols