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

Manu’s, a popular Pioneer Square lunch spot that made a cameo last season, will have a permanent concession stand to sell nachos and tacos. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks step up the food game: Sandwiches from Salumi and pho are coming to CenturyLink Field," 6 Aug. 2018 That year, Trump also made a cameo in another one of Agalarov’s music videos alongside actual 2013 Miss Universe contestants. Abby Vesoulis, Time, "The Russian Pop Star Who Played a Role in the Trump Tower Meeting Has a Music Video About It," 26 June 2018 Crew even made a special cameo in the market's in-store fall reveal. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Chip Gaines Shared the Most Adorable Photo of Baby Crew and Fans Are Freaking Out," 16 Oct. 2018 Here's hoping Disney makes Teen Beach 3 happen and Millie gets to have a special cameo in it. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Millie Bobby Brown Just Revealed Her Favorite Disney Channel Movie and It's Not "High School Musical"," 8 Aug. 2018 This approach is interesting for a rapper who will only commit to the occasional cameo on E!, "Kanye West Isn't Afraid To Keep Up With The Kardashian On Ye," 1 June 2018 Royals aside, Ballet Slippers also made a cameo in the 2003 novel The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, in which a character reports that Vogue staffers layer it with one coat of Essie's Marshmallow. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "How Essie’s Ballet Slippers Became the 'Safe' Shade," 18 May 2018 The old Speedway Motel had a cameo in one of the more memorable scenes from the movie, when Newman’s character, Frank Capua, returns to the motel after leaving Gasoline Alley and catches Woodward and Wagner in bed in Room 212. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "'Winning' starred Paul Newman and a cast of Hoosiers," 4 May 2018 And this tour boasts an exceedingly strong cast — from leading lady Desi Oakley to cute-as-a-button Ella Grace Helton, a 5-year-old Central Floridian who has a cameo. Matthew J. Palm,, "In 'Waitress,' tasty performances spice up familiar fodder," 21 Mar. 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

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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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 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).


to enclose within walls

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