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The verb is a back-formation from emotion.[1] The noun is derived from the verb.



emote (third-person singular simple present emotes, present participle emoting, simple past and past participle emoted) (originally US)

  1. (transitive)
    1. To display or express (emotions, mental states, etc.) openly, particularly while acting, and especially in an excessive manner. [from early 20th c.]
      • 2017, Laurie Frederik, “Painting the Body Brown and Other Lessons on How to Dance Latin”, in Laurie Frederik, Kim Marra, Catherine Schuler, Showing Off, Showing Up: Studies of Hype, Heightened Performance, and Cultural Power, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, →ISBN, page 55:
        In the Latin category, dancers begin the round in carnival mode, bouncing and curving voltas traveling down the length of the floor, emoting happy celebration in a Brazilianesque samba.
    2. To deliver (a speech), say (lines of a play, words), etc., in a dramatic or emotional manner, especially if overly so. [from early 20th c.]
  2. (intransitive)
    1. To display (excessive) emotion, especially while acting. [from early 20th c.]
      Synonym: emotionalize
    2. (Internet, text messaging) To express a virtual action, presented to other users as a graphic or reported speech, rather than sending a straightforward message.
    3. (video games) To perform a short action, such as a gesture or a dance move, which may be seen by other players but does not have any effect on gameplay.
      • 2019 September 17, Austen Goslin, “Borderlands 3 guide: How to use emotes”, in Polygon[1], archived from the original on 2023-02-02:
        There aren't many chances to see your character in Borderlands 3, but one of them is when you're emoting. Emoting allows your character to perform a gesture like a wave or a thumbs up, and it shifts the camera to a third-person view while they do.
      • 2023 October 12, Travis Northup, “Lords of the Fallen Review”, in IGN[2], archived from the original on 2023-11-07:
        Lords of the Fallen is yet another entry in the action-RPG soulslike craze, complete with an unsettling fantasy setting, other players invading your game for some co-op or PvP goodness, and, of course, lots of dying. It makes use of the same sort of deadly third-person combat system full of dodge rolling, posture meters, and emoting over fallen enemies as a sign of utmost disrespect.

Derived terms[edit]



emote (plural emotes)

  1. (Internet, text messaging) A virtual action expressed to other users as a graphic or reported speech rather than a straightforward message.
    She replied with an emote: "*hugs* I'm sorry"
  2. (Internet, Twitch-speak) Short for emoticon.
  3. (video games) A short action, such as a gesture or a dance move, which may be seen by other players but does not have any effect on gameplay.
    Many video games allow players to purchase emotes for real-life money.
    • 2018 June 14, Carter Melrose, “Why Battle Royale Games Like Fortnite Are Everywhere (It’s Not Just Money)”, in Wired[3], San Francisco, C.A.: Condé Nast Publications, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-10-08:
      Juggernaut franchises like Call of Duty and Battlefield are trying to capitalize on the success of Fortnite, but battle-royale games aren't just about skins and emotes.
    • 2023 November 4, Wes Davis, “The copyright fight over Fortnite dance moves is back on”, in The Verge[4], archived from the original on 2023-11-10:
      As old maps return to Fortnite, so do old battles over who owns some of the emotes used in-game.



  1. ^ emote, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2019; emote, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]





  1. vocative masculine singular of ēmōtus