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

Thanks @MikeJudge for the cameo in the season’s first episode, and for @SiliconHBO support of #SanJoseCollegePromise for low-income students. Sal Pizarro, The Mercury News, "Immerse yourself in San Jose Museum of Art’s new exhibition," 27 July 2019 Right now, the brightest light in the neighborhood is a mom and pop, the Sarah and Henji show, with a cameo by sugar toads. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Queen’s English brings Hong Kong’s sizzle to Columbia Heights," 17 July 2019 Can Disney give us an extended cut of the Lion King remake with a Prince Harry cameo? Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Reveals He Knows All of The Lion King by Heart, as Meghan Markle Says He’s a Big Fan," 16 July 2019 The actress played Jean Grey starting in 2000 with X-Men, and finished the role in 2014, with a cameo in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Rachel Desantis,, "Famke Janssen Supports New X-Men Film at Premiere After Blasting Franchise for 'Sexism'," 5 June 2019 The dance party continues in a range of iconic New York streets and on the Brooklyn Bridge — with a cameo by Maddie Ziegler, no less. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Elle Fanning and A$AP Ferg Team Up on Tiffany & Co.'s Holly Golightly-Inspired Campaign," 4 May 2018 White blew away manager Dave Roberts with a cameo in spring training last season. Andy Mccullough,, "They may soon star alongside Kershaw and Bellinger. These are the top five Dodgers prospects," 24 Mar. 2018 In Bassett’s defense, her character of Ramonda — mother to King T’Challa — may have had a major role in Black Panther, but only really has a cameo in Avengers: Endgame. Dalton Ross,, "Avengers: Endgame star Angela Bassett has not seen Avengers: Endgame," 30 July 2019 Fans had been hoping that Victoria Beckham might make a cameo at the final London leg of the Spice Girls tour. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Victoria Beckham Just Twinned with Meghan Markle in One of Her Own Designs," 17 June 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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Statistics for cameo

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

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 spread over or through

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