From the Oxford English Dictionary:
Drama (drā·ma). Also 6 drame, 7 dramma. [a. late L. drāma drama, play (Ausonius), a. Gr. drama deed, action, play, esp. tragedy, n. of action from dran to do, act, perform. In earliest use in form drame as in Fr. (1707 in Hatz-Darm.).]
1. A composition in prose or verse, adapted to be acted upon a stage, in which a story is related by means of dialogue and action, and is represented with accompanying gesture, costume, and scenery, as in real life; a play.
1515 BARCLAY Eglogues iv. (1570) Cvj/I Such rascolde drames promoted by Thais, Bacchus, Licoris, or yet by Thestalis. 1616 B. JONSON Epigr. cxii , I cannot for the stage a drama lay, Tragic or comic. 1636 HEYWOOD Loves Mistresse Ded., Neither are Dramma's of this nature so despicable. 1641 MILTON Ch. Govt. II. introd. The Scripture also affords us a divine pastoral drama in the song of Solomon. 1670 LASSELS Voy. Italy I (1698) 140 (Stanf.) The several Opera's or Musical Dramata are acted and sung. 1795 MASSON Ch. Mus. I. 24 Their Tragic Dramas . . . being usually accompanied by Instruments. 1852 HALLAM Lit. Ess. E. European Mus., i, 24 The Orfeo of Politian . . . the earliest represented drama, not of a religious nature, in a modern language.
2. With the: The dramatic branch of literature; the dramatic art.
1661 Middleton's Mayor of Queenborough Pref. Wks. (Bullen) II. 3 His drollery yields to none the English drama did ever produce. 1711 ADDISON Spect. No. 13 ¶ 5 The received rules of the Drama. 1727 POPE, etc. Art of Sinking xvi. Wks. 1757 Vi. 219 (Stanf.) The Drama, which makes so great and so lucrative a part of Poetry. 1857 H. REED, Lect. Brit. Poets viii. 284 The true philosophy of the drama as an imaginative imitation of life. 1861 M. PATTISON Ess. I. 46 The lover of the Elizabethan drama.
3. A series of actions or course of events having a unity like that of a drama, and leading to a final catastrophe or consummation.
a 1714 J. SHARP Serm. I. xiii. (R.), It helps to adorn the great drama and contrivances of God's providence. 1775 MASON Gray Gray's poems 2 That peculiar part which he acted in the varied Drama of Society. 1796 BURKE Regic. Peace i. Wks. VIII. 78 The awful drama of Providence now acting on the moral theatre of the world. 1876 E. MELLOR Priesth. ii, 58 That great drama which was to culminate in the death of Christ.
Dramatic (drămæ·tik), a. (sb.) [ad. late L. drāmatic-us, a. Gr. dramatikós pertaining to drama, f. drama, drámat- DRAMA: (cf. F. dramatique).]
1. Of, pertaining to, or connected with the, or a, drama.; dealing with or employing the forms of the drama.
1589 PUTTENHAM, Eng. Poesie I. xv. (Arb) 49 Foure sundry fromes of Poesie Drammatick.. to wit, the Satyre, olde Comedie, new Comedie, and Tragedie. c 1680 J. AUBREY in Shaks. C. Praise 383 He began early to make essayes at Dramatique Poetry. 1791 BURKE Corr. (1844) III. 196, I have never written any dramatic piece whatsoever. 1824 W. IRVING T. Trav. I. 280 The dramatic corps, 1885 MABEL COLLINS Prettiest Woman vviii, She played the part of the dramatic critic.
2. Characteristic of, or appropriate to, the drama; often connoting animated action or striking presentation, as in a play; theatrical.
1725 POPE Odyss. Postscr. The whole structure of that work (Iliad) is dramatick and full of action. 1778 FOOTE Trip Calais Wks. III 1799 II.378 There seems to be a kind of dramatic justice in the change of your two situations. 1855 BRIMLEY, Ess., Tennyson, 9 That dramatic unity demanded in works of art. 1878 LECKY, Eng. in 18th Cent. (1883) I. 176 The destruction of a great and ancient institution is an eminently dramatic thing.
B. sb. † 1. A dramatic poet; a dramatist. Obs.
1646 G. DANIEL, Poems, Wks. 1878 I. 30 Hee was, of English Drammatickes, the Prince. a1680 BUTLER Rem. (1759) I. 164 No longer shall Dramatics be confin'd To draw true Images of all Mankind. a1741 GRAY Lett. Wks. 1884 II. 209 Put me the following lines into the tongue of our modern dramatics.
2. pl. Dramatic compositions or representations; the drama.
1684 W. WINSTANLEY Engl. Worthies. Shaks 345-7 In all his writings hath an unvulgar Style, as well in his... Poems, as in his Drammaaticks. 1711 SHAFETSB. Charac. (1737) I. 265 We read epicks and dramaticks, as we do satirs and lampoons. 1880 C. KEENE Let. in G. S. Layard Life X. (1892) 308 The prevaliling mania for dramatics.
Drama·tical, a (sb). [f. as prec. + -AL.] — DRAMATIC a. I. (Now rare.)
1640 G. WATTS tr. Bacon's Adv. Learn. ii. (R). Dramaticall, or representative [poesy] is as it were, a visible history. a 1652 J SMITH Sel. Disc. , VI, iv (1821) 221 The whole dramatical series of things. 1711 ADDISON Spect. No. 101 §7 A Dramatical performance written in a language which they did not understand. 1854 Fraser's Mag. I 591 Fletcher was the dramatical parent of Congreve.
† B sb. pl. = DRAMATICS sb. Obs. rare
c. 1826 MOIR in Wilson's Wks. (1855) I. 198 Then bid Bryan Procter beat To dramaticals retreat.
Drama·tically, adv. [f. prec. + LY2.]
a. In a dramatic manner; from a dramatic point of view. b. With dramatic or theatrical effect.
a. 1652 J. SMITH Sel. Disc. vi 192 The outward frame of things dramatically set forth. 1759 STERNE Tr. Shandy II. viii. 57 This plea, tho' it might save me dramatically, will damn me biographically. 1836 9 DICKENS Sk. Boz (C. D. ed) 200 He stalked dramatically to bed.
Dramaticism (drămæ·tisiz'm). [f. DRAMATIC a. + -ISM] Dramatic character or quality.
1878 T. SINCLAIR Mount 80 More than its dramaticism and epicism. 1890 Athenaeum 6 Dec. 775/2 The dramaticism frequet among Nineteenth-Century writers of blank verse.
Dramaticle, -icule. Also erron. -ucle. [f. L. drāma, drāmat- with dim. suffix.] A miniature or insignificant drama.
[1792 T. TWINING Recreat. & Stud. (1882) 168 His two printed dialogues, or dramacles] 1813 Examiner 15 Mar. 171/1 This admired dramatucle (if we may be allowed such a diminutive). 1851 Beddoe's Poems Mem. 15 'Olympian Revels', and other dramaticles published published in the 'London Magazine' of 1823. 1865 CARLYLE Fredk. Gt. IV. 252 Court-shows, dramaticules, transparencies.
Dra·matism. [f. as DRAMATIST + -ISM] Dramatization, dramatized form.
1884 Autobiog. Dissenting 122 could no longer amuse his flock with the dramatism of devotion.
|| Dramatis personae (dræmă·tis p∂rsōn·ni) Abbreviated dram. pers. [L.; —persons of a drama.] The characters of a drama or play; the actors in a drama. lit. or fig.
1730 FIELDING Temple Beaut. I. vi. Wks. 1882 VIII. 177 There is (to give you a short Dramatis Personae) my worthy uncle [etc.] 1806 J. JAY Corr. & Pub. Papers (1893) IV. 308 Whether this distant nation is to appear among the dramatis personae cannot now be known. 1821 BYRON Diary 13 Jan., Sketched the outline and Dram. Pers. of a . . tragedy. 1895 Law Times XCIX. 547/I His dramatis personæ included a low attorney.
Dramatist (dræ·mătist). [f. Gr. drama, dramat- DRAMA + -IST: cf. F. dramatiste (1787 in Hatz-.Darm.).] A writer or composer of dramas or dramatic poetry; a play-wright. (Also fig.)
1678 CUDWORTH Intell. Syst. 879 They . . . impatiently cry out against the Dramatist, and presently condemn the Plot. 1748 YOUNG Nt. Th. IX. 348 To see the mighty Dramatist's last Act . . in glory rising o'er the rest. a1862 BUCKLE Misc. Wks. (1872) I. 483 In every country the dramatists have preceded the metaphysicians.
Dramatization (dræ·măt∂izēi§∂n). [f. next + ATION.] The action of dramatizing; conversion into drama; a dramatized version.
1796 W. TAYLOR in Monthly Rev. XIX. 482. The variegated list of his dramatizations. 1846 DICKENS Lett. (1880) I. 165. I really am bothered . . by this confounded dramatization of the Christmas book. 1875 MAINE Hist. Inst. ix. 253 A dramatisation of the origin of Justice.
Dramatize (dræ·măt∂iz), v. [f. as DRAMATIST + IZE]
1. trans. To convert into a drama; to put into dramatic form, adapt for representation on the stage.
1780-83 [See DRAMATIZED]. 1810 SCOTT Fam. Lett. 22 Dec., They are busy dramatizing The Lady of the Lake here and in Dublin. 1884 Law Times 27 Sept. 358/2 The play 'Called Back,' dramatized from the novel of that name.
b. obsol. To write dramas.
1814 Sortes Horatianae 125 Scrawl, dramatize . . do what ye will.
2. To describe or represent dramatically.
1823 ADOLPHUS in Lockhart Scott Aug., To exert the talent of dramatizing and . . representing in his own person the incidents he told of. 1894 HOWELLS in Harper's Mag. Feb. 383 The men continue to dramatize a struggle on the floor below.
3. intr. (for pass). To admit of dramatization.
1819 SCOTT Fam. Let. 15 June. The present set . . will not dramatize. 1836 New Monthly Mag. XLVII 235 The story would dramatize admirably.
4. trans. To influence by the drama, nonce-use.
1799 Morn. Chron. in Spirit Pub. Jrnls. (1800) III. 154 Some might take their station in the theatre, and dramatize the audience into loyalty.
Hence Dra·matized ppl. a. Dra·matizing vbl. sb. and ppl. a.; also Dra·matizable a. (Webster, 1864); Dra·matizer, one who dramatizes.
1780-83 W. TOOKE Russia (Webster 1828) A dramatized extract from the history of the Old and New Testaments. 1833 Westm. Rev. XVIII, 226 The dramatist of Cooper's 'Pilot'. a1834 LAMB Char. Dram. Writers. Rowley Wks. 530 Our delicacy . . forbids the dramatizing of distress. 1862 MERIVALE Rom. Emp. (1865, V. xii. 99 The dramatized histories of the English bard. 1875 EMERSON Lett. & Soc. Aims Wks. (Bohn) III. 221 A sort of dramatizing talent.
Dramaturge (dræ·măt∂:rdy) [a F. dramaturge (1787), ad Gr. dramatourgos composer of drama, f. drama, dramato- DRAMA + -ergein to work, -ergos working, worker]. —DRAMATURGIST
[1859 Times 17 Nov. 8/2 Schiller was starving on a salary of 200 dollars per annum, which he received for his services as 'dramaturg' or literary manager.] 1870 Athenaeum 12 Mar. 366 M. Sardou . . that indefatigable dramaturge. 1882 SYMONDS Animi Figura 118 Fate is the dramaturge, necessity Allots the parts.
Dramatu·rgic, a. [f. Gr. dramatourg-os (see prec.) + -IC] Pertaining to dramaturgy; dramatic, histrionic, theatrical.
[1831 BEDDOES Let. Jan. in Poems p. xcvi So much for my dramaturgic ideas on playbills. 1845 CARLYLE Cromwell 1871] I. 158 Some form [of worship] not grown dramaturgic to us, but still awfully symbolical for us. 1883 Mag. of Art June 315/1 That lack of dramaturgic science.
SO Dramatu·rgical a.
Dra·maturgist [f. as prec. + -IST] A composer of a drama; a play-wright.
1825 CARLYLE Schiller II (1845) 63 Notwithstanding . . all the vaunting of dramaturgists. 1843 — Past & Pr. II, ii The World Dramaturgist has written, Exeunt.
Dra·maturgy [mod. ad Gr. dramatourgía composition of dramas : cf. F. dramaturgie (17th c.), Ger. dramaturgie.]
1. Dramatic composition; the dramatic art.
1801 W. TAYLOR in Monthly Mag. XII 224. Lessing's Dramaturgy. 1805 Ibid. XX. 41 Lessing .. published a weekly paper, entitled the Hamburg Dramaturgy. 1885 Sat. Rev. 28 Mar. 419/2 The immortal Mac-Flecknoe, in which the 'Nursery' and its dramaturgy are annotated.
2. Dramatic or theatrical acting.
1837 CARLYLE Diam Neckl. Misc. Ess. 1888 V, 184 Let her .. give her past Dramaturgy the fit aspect to Monseigneur and others. 1858 —Fredk. Gr. (1865) I. I. iii. 22 Sublime dramaturgy, which we call his Majesty's Government, costs so much.