cameo

noun
cam·​eo | \ ˈka-mē-ˌō How to pronounce cameo (audio) \
plural cameos

Definition of cameo

1a : a gem carved in relief (see relief entry 1 sense 6) especially : a small piece of sculpture on a stone or shell cut in relief in one layer with another contrasting layer serving as background
b : a small medallion (see medallion sense 2) with a profiled head in relief
2 : a carving or sculpture made in the manner of a cameo
3 : a usually brief literary or filmic piece that brings into delicate or sharp relief the character of a person, place, or event his cameos and short commentaries on men and manners— R. T. Dunlop
4 : a small theatrical role usually performed by a well-known actor and often limited to a single scene A major star appears in a cameo in the movie. broadly : a brief appearance or role

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cameo

cameo adjective
cameo verb, transitive + intransitive

Examples of cameo in a Sentence

He has a brief cameo in the film.

Recent Examples on the Web

The English did spread Wallace’s remains around Scotland as a warning to other would-be rebels, making the gruesome cameo true to life. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'Outlaw King' vs. 'Braveheart': Which Movie Gets Scotland Right?," 13 Nov. 2018 And look out for a cameo from a perplexed Jeff Goldblum. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Friday: ‘6 Balloons’ and ‘Troy: Fall of a City’," 6 Apr. 2018 The 38-year-old is seen going for a jog, working out with a trainer and the best part—showing off his ripped biceps in the mirror (with a shirtless cameo) while doing curls with a beer bottle. Jessica Fecteau, PEOPLE.com, "Chris Pratt Shows Off His Ripped Body In His First-Ever Super Bowl Commercial for Michelob ULTRA," 29 Jan. 2018 Fingers crossed for a cameo by a random balance beam. Elisa, Seventeen, "8 Unbelievable Photos Every "Dancing With the Stars" Fan Needs to See of Nastia Liukin," 6 Apr. 2015 John Washington even made a cameo in one of Denzel's early films (more on that below). Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "John David Washington and Dad Denzel Washington Are a Father-Son Dream Team," 24 Feb. 2019 More recently, Chynna appeared as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars and made a cameo in the movie Bridesmaids. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Get to Know Billy Baldwin's Wife and Kids, Who Inspired His New Netflix Show 'Northern Rescue'," 1 Mar. 2019 Watch an extended version of the commercial here: The menacing knight, The Mountain (played by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) makes a cameo in the ad. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Just Recreated That Scene with The Mountain for a Super Bowl Ad," 4 Feb. 2019 Quiche itself had a glamorous cameo in 1955's To Catch a Thief. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Alfred Hitchcock's Quiche Lorraine Recipe Is Scarily Good," 23 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cameo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cameo

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cameo

Middle English camew, from Middle French camau, kamaheu

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cameo

Statistics for cameo

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cameo

The first known use of cameo was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cameo

cameo

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cameo

: a small role in a movie, play, etc., that is performed by a well-known actor
: a piece of jewelry that has a carved design shown against a background of a different color

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cameo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cameo

Spanish Central: Translation of cameo

Nglish: Translation of cameo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cameo for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cameo

Comments on cameo

What made you want to look up cameo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having no equal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!