cameo role


noun, plural cameos.
a technique of engraving upon a gem or other stone, as onyx, in such a way that an underlying stone of one color is exposed as a background for a low-relief design of another color.
a gem or other stone so engraved.
a literary sketch, small dramatic scene, or the like, that effectively presents or depicts its subject.
Also called cameo role. a minor part played by a prominent performer in a single scene of a motion picture or a television play.

1375–1425; < Italian cam(m)eo < Old French camaieu, of uncertain origin; replacing late Middle English camew, cameu < Old French Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To cameo role
World English Dictionary
cameo (ˈkæmɪˌəʊ)
n , pl cameos
1.  a.  a medallion, as on a brooch or ring, with a profile head carved in relief
 b.  (as modifier): a cameo necklace
2.  an engraving upon a gem or other stone of at least two differently coloured layers, such as sardonyx, so carved that the background is of a different colour from the raised design
3.  a stone with such an engraving
4.  a.  a single and often brief dramatic scene played by a well-known actor or actress in a film or television play
 b.  (as modifier): a cameo role
5.  a.  a short literary work or dramatic sketch
 b.  (as modifier): a cameo sketch
[C15: from Italian cammeo, of uncertain origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

16c., camuse, camfeo, etc. (from early 13c. in Anglo-L.), "carved precious stone with two layers of colors," from It. cammeo (13c.), from M.L. cammæus, of unknown origin, perhaps ultimately from Arabic qamaa'il "flower buds," or Pers. chumahan "agate." Transferred sense of "small character or part
that stands out from other minor parts" in a play, etc., is from 1928, from earlier meaning "short literary sketch or portrait" (1851).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
computer-aided management of emergency operations
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature