Definition of emerge in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɪˈməːdʒ/


[no object]
1Move out of or away from something and become visible: black ravens emerged from the fog
More example sentences
  • But the spectacle can cloy and a sadness lingers after the pageant has moved on as householders emerge with shovels and brooms to sweep away all trace of their work.
  • No birds are perched on the board; however, the head of a single cormorant, its signature white throat clearly visible, just emerges from the waters of the lagoon ahead of the barge.
  • Julia stands alone in the middle of the road, unable to move, until Steven emerges from the carriage and slowly leads her back.
come out, appear, come into view, become visible, make an appearance;
turn up, spring up, come up, surface, crop up, pop up;
materialize, manifest oneself, arise, proceed, issue, come forth, emanate
1.1(Of an insect or other invertebrate) break out from an egg, cocoon, or pupal case: the larvae pupate among the roots of trees to emerge as the adults
More example sentences
  • The new spectacularly rises from the old like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.
  • Release the butterfly where it was captured as soon as it emerges from its chrysalis.
  • The title may refer to a process, as when a butterfly emerges from the chrysalis.
2Become apparent or prominent: United have emerged as the bookies' clear favourite (as adjective emerging) established and emerging artists
More example sentences
  • The picture emerging yesterday was confused at best.
  • He said he was confident that they would put up an impressive show and eventually emerge winners.
  • The difference only emerges in the context in which it applies within the count in the indictment.
become known, become apparent, become evident, be revealed, come to light, come out, transpire, come to the fore, enter the picture, unfold, turn out, prove to be the case;
become common knowledge, get around
2.1(Of facts) become known: reports of a deadlock emerged during preliminary discussions [with clause]: it emerged that the PM and the Chancellor are still at loggerheads
More example sentences
  • The crash occurred on Sunday, but the amazing survival stories only emerged yesterday.
  • During the hearing, one critical piece of evidence emerged which could prove very damaging to the government.
  • Details of C & C executives' basic salaries also emerged yesterday.
3Recover from or survive a difficult situation: the economy has started to emerge from recession
More example sentences
  • But hope persists that the UUP risk-taker can emerge relatively unscathed from this election.
  • Despite the complications, the surgeries typically go smoothly and most tarantulas emerge unscathed.
  • From nearly 50 years of complex warfare the house of Wessex had emerged triumphant.


Late 16th century (in the sense 'become known, come to light'): from Latin emergere, from e- (variant of ex-) 'out, forth' + mergere 'to dip'.

  • merge from mid 17th century:

    Latin mergere ‘to dip, plunge’ is the source of merge and emerge (late 16th century). Merge was initially used to mean ‘immerse’ oneself in a particular way of life, with the modern sense appearing in the 19th century via business use.

Words that rhyme with emerge

converge, dirge, diverge, merge, purge, scourge, serge, splurge, spurge, submerge, surge, urge, verge

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: emerge

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.