1. (Science: botany) Opera girl, 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.
Origin: It, fr. Opera work, composition, opposed to an improvisation, fr. L. Opera pains work, fr. Opus, operis, work, labour: cf. F. Opera. See Operate.
2. A drama, either tragic or comic, of which music forms an essential part; a drama wholly or mostly sung, consisting of recitative, arials, choruses, duets, trios, etc, with orchestral accompaniment, preludes, and interludes, together with appropriate costumes, scenery, and action; a lyric drama.
3. The score of a musical drama, either written or in print; a play set to music.
4. The house where operas are exhibited. Opera bouffe [F. Opera 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.