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[ih-moh-shuh-nl] /ɪˈmoʊ ʃə nl/
pertaining to or involving emotion or the emotions.
subject to or easily affected by emotion:
We are an emotional family, given to demonstrations of affection.
appealing to the emotions:
an emotional request for contributions.
showing or revealing very strong emotions:
an emotional scene in a play.
actuated, effected, or determined by emotion rather than reason:
An emotional decision is often a wrong decision.
governed by emotion:
He is in a highly emotional state of mind.
Origin of emotional
1840-50; emotion + -al1
Related forms
emotionally, adverb
hyperemotional, adjective
hyperemotionally, adverb
nonemotional, adjective
nonemotionally, adverb
overemotional, adjective
overemotionally, adverb
preemotional, adjective
preemotionally, adverb
pseudoemotional, adjective
pseudoemotionally, adverb
quasi-emotional, adjective
quasi-emotionally, adverb
semiemotional, adjective
semiemotionally, adverb
unemotional, adjective
unemotionally, adverb
2. temperamental, effusive, demonstrative, sentimental.
2. undemonstrative, unsentimental, inexpressive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for emotionally
  • Under the mental tasks he imposed upon her, her health became impaired and she was overstimulated intellectually and emotionally.
  • It makes for fascinating watching picking apart the relationships, but it makes it difficult to emotionally invest in anyone.
  • The story was also presented emotionally, but was still informative.
  • Instead he faced a contentious and emotionally charged environment caused by their findings.
  • Few creatures are as mysterious and captivating as the whale, and few connect with us so emotionally and spiritually.
  • Take time to intellectually and emotionally embrace the place.
  • His food supplies were low, and he felt emotionally thin, stressed by loneliness and the inhospitable locale.
  • Working in such a harsh environment requires much physically as well as mentally and emotionally.
  • In some ways, she says, the student-affairs job can be more emotionally draining than the presidency.
  • emotionally powerful material is particularly liable to emerge in telepathy, as well as repressed thoughts and memories.
British Dictionary definitions for emotionally


of, characteristic of, or expressive of emotion
readily or excessively affected by emotion
appealing to or arousing emotion: an emotional piece of music
caused, determined, or actuated by emotion rather than reason: an emotional argument
Derived Forms
emotionality, noun
emotionally, adverb
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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Word Origin and History for emotionally



1821, "pertaining to emotion," from emotion + -al (1). Meaning "liable to emotions" attested by 1857. Related: Emotionally. Emotional intelligence coined by mid-1960s, popular from mid-1980s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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