emoted; emoting

intransitive verb

: to give expression to emotion especially in acting
emoter 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 The characters emote with the rich, sticky languor of a lava lamp, and none come to life with the force of those in the works to which Catán nods. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, 17 Nov. 2023 An entity that feigns human emotions is arguably a worse object of affection than a cold, computational device that doesn’t emote at all. WIRED, 26 Sep. 2023 But Benicio is one of these actors who emotes so much non-verbally. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Sep. 2023 More likely, those who emoted more were simply in more distress. Ellen Barry Hilary Swift, New York Times, 7 Sep. 2023 Sikh religious scripture are written in ragas - a collection of notes and pitches meant to emote certain feelings. Yannick Peterhans, USA TODAY, 8 Aug. 2023 The city itself acts as a beloved third-wheel and dialogue is intentional, allowing the audience to sit within the oscillating emotions the characters emote while sports play out on the periphery as Manon’s angst unfolds in sequences that show her rage but also her vulnerability and drive. Holly Jones, Variety, 28 July 2023 Each boy’s advanced physicality combined with a unique outlook on what physical touch means, allows these wrestlers to communicate and emote freely in a safe space. Condé Nast, Vogue, 26 June 2023 And so taking on this marathon role not only required intense dedication and memorization, but also a recalibration of her acting style in order to emote to an 800-plus seat theater, rather than to the camera. Caitlin Huston, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'emote.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


back-formation from emotion

First Known Use

1917, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of emote was in 1917

Dictionary Entries Near emote

Cite this Entry

“Emote.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emote. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


emoted; emoting
: to express emotion in or as if in a play
emoter noun

More from Merriam-Webster on emote

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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