• emote
  • audio pronunciation
  • \ih-MOHT\
  • DEFINITION

verb

: to give expression to emotion especially in acting
  • EXAMPLES

The star of the show stood center stage, emoting and gesturing wildly.

"It's not always immediately obvious, but sometimes you fall in love with a band for the way the singers emote." — From a review by James Reed in The Boston Globe, January 24, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Emote" is an example of what linguists call a back-formation — that is, a word formed by trimming down an existing word (in this case, "emotion"). From the time "emote" was coined in the early 20th century, its use has tended to be less than entirely serious. It most often appears in humorous or deprecating descriptions of the work of actors. It is similarly used to describe theatrical behavior by nonactors, as in this passage by David Fontana, published in The New Republic on March 11, 2012: "We might not want our president to emote about economics or war; but why shouldn't a fan, or for that matter a sports announcer, emote about athletics, which is not after all a matter of world historical importance?"

Test Your Memory: What word completes this sentence from a recent Word of the Day piece: "The author's appearance is expected to attract a __________ gathering that will fill the entire auditorium"? The answer is ...

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