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

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 store gives back to youth sports programs and collaborates on fundraisers with pro athletes, including basketball legend Bill Walton and NFL stars Marcus Allen, Reggie Bush and Andre Reed, who makes a cameo in the movie. Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 May 2022 Swift directed, produced, and wrote the film, and makes a cameo at the very end. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 4 May 2022 Don Toliver makes a cameo in the clip, which sees Bieber bouncing around a trailer back of house, covering his face with an orange balaclava for half the action. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 27 Apr. 2022 Rapper Slick Rick also makes a cameo in the clip, placing several impressive articles of bling around Keys’ neck. Kat Bouza, Rolling Stone, 7 Apr. 2022 Even her striped tennis dress makes a cameo a few times, too. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 5 Oct. 2021 The late Stan Lee makes a cameo in this same scene, as his face appears on the cover of a comics magazine in a newsstand by Mrs. Chen’s counter. James Grebey, Vulture, 2 Oct. 2021 The ultra-famous Korean actor makes a cameo as The Salesman, the man who recruits Gi-hun into the Squid Game with a game of ddakji on the subway. Quinci Legardye, Marie Claire, 22 Sep. 2021 Each lesson, including one where former Husky Renee Montgomery makes a cameo, ranges from six to 19 minutes. Alexa Philippou,, 16 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for cameo

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near cameo

cam engine


cameo blue

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Statistics for cameo

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cameo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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