Definition of emoji
: any of various small images, symbols, or icons used in text fields in electronic communication (as in text messages, e-mail, and social media) to express the emotional attitude of the writer, convey information succinctly, communicate a message playfully without using words, etc. The function of emoji, as [emoji developer Shigetaka] Kurita describes it—adding subtle emotional emphasis to a sentence in text—isn't too different from that of emoticons, the frowny and smiley faces that people have been making out of punctuation since the mid-1990s. — Britt Peterson — compare emoticon
Recent Examples of emoji from the Web
An Illinois man who typed out emoji and other text messages to advise his cousin thousands of miles away on how to kill a wealthy Chicago woman vacationing in Indonesia was sentenced on Friday to nine years in prison.
In their city of Textopolis, Gene (voiced by T.J. Miller) is the only emoji without one facial expression.
Some see emoji as little more than an adolescent grunt, taking us back to the dark ages of illiteracy.
The emoji showing both flags together amounts to a small (very small) action, but the digital recognition carries deep significance.
According to the research, the most prominent emoji indicators of trafficking are the rose, rosette, cherry, cherry blossom, growing heart, airplane, and crown.
Most frequently used emoji: the poop face, of course.
By creating a standardized Unicode library of images, emoji took the finger work out of typing context into your texts.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emoji'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of emoji
borrowed from Japanese, literally, “pictograph,” from e “picture, drawing” + moji “letter, character”
First Known Use: 1997
Seen and Heard
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