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

Definition of emote

intransitive verb

: to give expression to emotion especially in acting

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Other Words from emote

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

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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"). From the time "emote" was coined in the early 20th century, its use has tended to be less than entirely serious. It most often appears in humorous or deprecating descriptions of the work of actors. It is similarly used to describe theatrical behavior by nonactors, as in this passage by David Fontana, published in The New Republic on March 11, 2012: "We might not want our president to emote about economics or war; but why shouldn't a fan, or for that matter a sports announcer, emote about athletics, which is not after all a matter of world historical importance?"

Examples of emote in a Sentence

He stood on the stage, emoting and gesturing wildly.
Recent Examples on the Web And now, twice in the last week, Biden has again stepped forward to show the nation — and the world — how to emote through another kind of crisis. Philip Elliott, Time, 24 Mar. 2021 Don't emote for the dispossessed or write them a Christmas check. Keith C. Burris, Star Tribune, 21 Feb. 2021 This is a man who has learned to emote through the Real World opening credits. Ali Barthwell, Vulture, 5 Jan. 2021 The Queen, in which Helen Mirren’s monarch failed to emote publicly over the death of Diana). Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, 5 Dec. 2020 Democracy thereby incentivizes people to vote for reasons other than information, or political preferences—to form alliances with people, to get dating partners and friends, or just to emote. Danielle Allen, Harper's Magazine, 27 Oct. 2020 Biden would do well to emote a burning desire to win, because playing it safe again and coasting into the job won’t bode well for ability to deliver on rather grand promises to undo Trumpism and restore norms this president has trampled. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 22 Oct. 2020 Chronicoms, like replicants from Blade Runner, can't emote the way normal humans do. Christian Holub, EW.com, 11 June 2020 Based off of Gary Jules' popularized cover of the song, Lambert wears every emotion on his sleeve, emoting through each of the song's painful lyrics. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 3 Oct. 2019

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.

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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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Cite this Entry

“Emote.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emote. Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for emote



English Language Learners Definition of emote

: to express emotion in a very dramatic or obvious way

More from Merriam-Webster on emote

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for emote

Nglish: Translation of emote for Spanish Speakers


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