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[ee-moh] /ˈi moʊ/
a type of guitar-based music developed from emocore but having a softer, pop or mainstream sound.
a fan of emo, especially a person who is overly sensitive and full of angst or adopts a certain style characterized by dyed black hair, tight t-shirts and jeans, etc.
noting or pertaining to this type of rock music:
emo albums of the late 1990s.
of or relating to a fan of emo or to the lifestyle, dress, etc., typical of such a person: emo teens;
emo fashion.
Origin of emo
1985-90; shortening of emocore Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for emo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I fancy that this chief is the fellow whom you heard of, Ralph, at the Island of emo.

    The Coral Island R. M. Ballantyne
  • emo humbled the Bey of Tunis, cleared the seas, and died at Malta in 1792.

    Venice and its Story Thomas Okey
  • emo non quod opus est, sed quod necesse est; quod non opus est, asse carum est.

  • The garrison fought bravely: emo, their commander, with a handful of men resisted to the last.

    Venice and its Story Thomas Okey
British Dictionary definitions for emo


  1. a type of music combining traditional hard rock with personal and emotional lyrics
  2. (as modifier): emo bands
Word Origin
C20: short for emotional rock
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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