\ i-ˈmōt How to pronounce emote (audio) \
emoted; emoting

Definition of emote

intransitive verb

: to give expression to emotion especially in acting

Other Words from emote

emoter \ i-​ˈmō-​tər How to pronounce emote (audio) \ noun

Did you know?

Emote is an example of what linguists call a back-formation—that is, a word formed by trimming down an existing word (in this case, emotion). As is sometimes the case with back-formations, emote has since its coinage in the early 20th century tended toward use that is less than entirely serious. It frequently appears in humorous or deprecating descriptions of the work of actors, and is similarly used to describe theatrical behavior by nonactors. Though a writer sometimes wants us to take someone's "emoting" seriously, a phrase like "expressing emotion" avoids the chance that we will hear some snideness in the writer's words.

Examples of emote in a Sentence

He stood on the stage, emoting and gesturing wildly.
Recent Examples on the Web Crying is just one way to emote, but feelings can also manifest as a scream, laugh, facial expression, posture, or burst of energy. Amelia Arvesen, Outside Online, 25 Sep. 2022 Humans have spent generations breeding dogs to emote in very people-esque ways, using their soulful eyes and slobbery, smiley mouths. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 7 Sep. 2022 The difference now is that this group has TikTok and hashtags to emote. Lindsay Ellis And Angela Yang, WSJ, 12 Aug. 2022 Because of that, the main character needed to emote his feelings with the face and body only. Holly Jones, Variety, 15 June 2022 Evans, a professional dancer, can do what many actors cannot: emote with her body. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 1 Aug. 2022 Then Luna joins with protective Venus, prompting us to emote more strongly than normal and truly show our love for others. Chicago Tribune, 26 July 2022 Another theory about his youthful visage: Leto doesn’t emote very much in casual conversation. Lauren Larson, Men's Health, 21 Mar. 2022 Meat Loaf learned to emote in musical theater, where laying it on too thick is part of the whole concept. Los Angeles Times, 21 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emote.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of emote

1917, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for emote

back-formation from emotion

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Dictionary Entries Near emote

Emory oak



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Statistics for emote

Last Updated

4 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Emote.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emote. Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on emote

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for emote

Nglish: Translation of emote for Spanish Speakers


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