cam·​eo ˈka-mē-ˌō How to pronounce cameo (audio)
plural cameos
: 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
: a small medallion (see medallion sense 2) with a profiled head in relief
: a carving or sculpture made in the manner of a cameo
: 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 mannersR. T. Dunlop
: 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
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 cherry on the cake is the video, Yatra’s directorial debut, which features Georgina Rodríguez and a brief cameo from her significant other, Cristiano Ronaldo. Leila Cobo, Billboard, 15 Sep. 2023 Below, during a recent conversation THR, White also teases a significant cameo at the end of Outlaw Johnny Black involving a father figure and mentor who has since passed away. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Sep. 2023 Look quick for a cameo from the late great Jimmy Buffett as a heckler! Ben Flanagan |, al, 13 Sep. 2023 The last time the boys stood onstage was at the 2013 VMAs, doing a painfully brief cameo when Justin Timberlake won the Video Vanguard award. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 13 Sep. 2023 But Jackson wasn't the only singer to shock the crowd: Sia made a special cameo to perform as the show came to a close. Anika Reed usa Today, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2023 Marvel fans will enjoy a quick cameo from Rocket (Bradley Cooper). Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2023 Plus: don’t miss the special cameos from Vogue Japan’s Head of Editorial Content Tiffany Godoy (catch her career advice in the recent episode of Meet The Editor) and Fashion Director, Emi Kameoka, who shares a first look at Vogue Japan’s October issue, featuring model of the moment Mona Tougaard. Vogue, 8 Sep. 2023 Beyoncé packed some major surprises into her three Renaissance World Tour shows in Los Angeles, including a serenade from Diana Ross and a cameo from Kendrick Lamar. Steven J. Horowitz, Variety, 6 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cameo.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English camew, from Middle French camau, kamaheu

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near cameo

Cite this Entry

“Cameo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


cam·​eo ˈkam-ē-ˌō How to pronounce cameo (audio)
plural cameos
: a carved gem in which the design is higher than its background
: a small role (as in a movie) performed by a well-known actor
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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