cam·eo | \ˈka-mē-ˌō \
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

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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

Ramsey was working this week with Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward and Panthers cornerbacks Corn Elder and Rashaan Gaulden—among others—with a cameo from Jags coach Doug Marrone. Jonathan Jones,, "Cam, AB and Opponents Who Team Up for Summer Workouts," 13 July 2018 HBO Remember when Ed Sheeran made a cameo on Game of Thrones? Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "This 'Game of Thrones' Star Just Admitted to Not Liking That Ed Sheeran Cameo," 28 June 2018 Ed Sheeran made a cameo on the season 7 premiere of Game of Thrones last summer, but not everyone was here for the singer's appearance. Rita Thompson, Billboard, "Kristian Nairn Was Not a Fan of Ed Sheeran's 'Game of Thrones' Cameo," 28 June 2018 In 1999, Trump made a cameo on season 2, episode 8 of SATC., "Sex And The City," 6 June 2018 Hess debuted not in a mop-up relief cameo, and not as an emergency call-up, but with a genuine opportunity to pitch well and earn a rotation spot going forward. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles' David Hess posts quality start in major league debut for 6-3 win over Rays in Game 1," 12 May 2018 Bill Mumy has a cameo, which is hella cool, for those who remember when he was listed as Billy Mumy and was in countless TV shows and films. David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle, "What’s on TV, April 12-15: ‘Siren’ sings, as does ‘Elvis Presley: The Searcher’," 12 Apr. 2018 What's more, the 23-year-old has been nursing a back injury in recent weeks and hasn't played at all since a two-minute cameo against Leicester on December 9., "English Suitors Out of Luck as Rafa Benitez Offers Critical Update on Aleksandar Mitrovic Situation," 26 Jan. 2018 Admittedly, Plattenhardt's World Cup cameo was deeply disappointing., "Leicester and Huddersfield Among 6 Premier League Clubs Eyeing Move for German World Cup Star," 6 July 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for cameo

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for cameo

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

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More Definitions for cameo



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

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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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