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

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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 Will Biden’s fortunes be harmed by his unflattering cameo in the matter? Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Trolling Day at the Trump Trial," 24 Jan. 2020 His cameo is a perfect encapsulation of the masterful way in which Curb uses unexpected casting to its advantage. Peter Allen Clark, Time, "The 12 Best Curb Your Enthusiasm Cameos of All Time," 17 Jan. 2020 Strangest moment: La La Anthony, wife of NBA player Carmelo Anthony, has a brief cameo as Rush’s late wife, Paula, showing up in family photos and old video footage. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "Your guide to all of Netflix’s new holiday movies for 2019," 24 Dec. 2019 This means Mike Boone will likely be the featured back, one week after his two-touchdown cameo against the Chargers. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 16: Last-minute moves," 22 Dec. 2019 And then there is the fact that this is not the first time a celebrity voice is making a cameo on public transit. Christina Goldbaum, New York Times, "Awkwafina’s Latest Role: Subway Announcer. New Yorkers Have Thoughts.," 16 Jan. 2020 Tucker made a cameo on Girls in 2016, and even starred in 2019’s The Report, which starred Driver as Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones. Anne Cohen,, "Adam Driver’s Wife Joanne Tucker Is A Total Badass," 6 Jan. 2020 The ommission of the cameo from a CBC broadcast this month was noticed by several viewers, who were quick to label it as politically motivated censorship. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, "Trump cameo cut from Canadian broadcast of Home Alone 2, riling his U.S. fans," 26 Dec. 2019 Plus, the sandal’s cork sole made a refined cameo on the Proenza Schouler Spring 2020 runway just this week. Vogue, "Kendall Jenner's Post-Fashion Week Look Is All About a Comfy Shoe," 13 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for cameo

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cameo

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cameo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cameo


How to pronounce cameo (audio)

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

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