Definition of emotion in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈmōSH(ə)n/


1A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others: she was attempting to control her emotions his voice was low and shaky with emotion fear had become his dominant emotion
More example sentences
  • She loves the fact that there is an intensity about holidays that can spark strong emotions.
  • It allows you to have strong emotions and opinions without any real risk to yourself.
  • There has been an attempt to defuse aggressive emotions and any desire for revenge.
feeling, sentiment;
reaction, response
passion, strength of feeling, warmth of feeling
1.1Instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge: responses have to be based on historical insight, not simply on emotion
More example sentences
  • The path down is usually the feminine journey, which brings us to emotion, instinct and intuition.
  • Life today is guided not by logic and reason but rather by emotion, fear and sentimentality.
  • Since Plato, many philosophers have sought to make a sharp distinction between reason and emotion.
instinct, intuition, gut feeling;
sentiment, the heart


Mid 16th century (denoting a public disturbance or commotion): from French émotion, from émouvoir 'excite', based on Latin emovere, from e- (variant of ex-) 'out' + movere 'move'. The sense 'mental agitation' dates from the mid 17th century, the current general sense from the early 19th century.

  • The modern meaning of emotion is surprisingly recent and very different from its original sense. In the 16th century the word first meant ‘a public disturbance or commotion’, as in ‘There were…great stirs and emotions in Lombardy’ (1579). The root is Latin movere, ‘to move’, and the second sense was ‘a movement or migration’. The main current meaning of ‘a strong feeling such as joy or anger’ was not used in writing until the early 1800s. The emoticon, a blend of emotion and icon dates from the 1990s.

Words that rhyme with emotion

commotion, devotion, groschen, Laotian, locomotion, lotion, motion, notion, Nova Scotian, ocean, potion, promotion

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: e·mo·tion

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