\ 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 emoter (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"). 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 Chronicoms, like replicants from Blade Runner, can't emote the way normal humans do. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap: The truth is out there," 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, "10 Times Adam Lambert Showed The World He's the Master of Covers," 3 Oct. 2019 Jon Mullins, who Nick stole from Team Blake, has so much power behind his voice and also emotes the hell out of it. Maggie Fremont, EW.com, "The Voice recap: Let's see what this Four-Way Knockout is all about," 21 Apr. 2020 One result of the coincidence was the emergence of a new kind of actress, emoting vividly in a stagy accent acquired somewhere between Bryn Mawr and Broadway. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Camp and Compassion in ‘The Confession of Lily Dare’," 29 Jan. 2020 When emoting and brooding are needed, Daniel Craig portrays James Bond. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, "James Bond Gets a Stunt Double in No Time to Die—So Does Aston Martin's DB5," 20 Feb. 2020 And emoting them in a way that is again going toward realism. Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter, ""It's All Imagination Coming to Life": Jennifer Lee, Josh Cooley and the Animation Roundtable," 16 Dec. 2019 But real lions don’t emote the way cartoons can, and in the equivalent moment in the new film, Simba barely seems to react to the situation at all. Kendra James, The Verge, "Disney’s live-action Lion King is pretty, but so unnecessary," 11 July 2019 Sparkly golden decor lines every room, mounds of mouth-watering dishes are served, and cheer is emoting from every corner. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "'Downton Abbey' Stars Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan Share Their Holiday Traditions," 19 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for emote

Time Traveler

The first known use of emote was in 1917

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Statistics for emote

Last Updated

17 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Emote.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emote. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for emote


How to pronounce emote (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of emote

: to express emotion in a very dramatic or obvious way

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More from Merriam-Webster on emote

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for emote

Spanish Central: Translation of emote

Nglish: Translation of emote for Spanish Speakers

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