Definition of emo in English:


(also emocore)

nounPlural emos

mass noun
  • 1A style of rock music resembling punk but having more complex arrangements and lyrics that deal with more emotional subjects.

    • ‘In the States we attract a lot more kids just because we're the opposite of everything that the "cool" kids are doing like nu-metal and emo.’
    • ‘Most of the bands we knew started playing emo, got the shaggy haircuts and started wearing tight t-shirts.’
    • ‘So this is what happens when you mix goth and emo with a major-label budget?’
    • ‘Their music has been categorized as punk emo, and even pop.’
    • ‘This is what emo wishes it was: mature and catchy without being whiny and anti-climactic.’
    • ‘While Mock Orange have always been classified as emo, the group tends to leans more towards sunny indie-rock than tortured punk.’
    • ‘Not wanting to wallow in the dead-end mud of emo, the boys have decided to evolve their sound.’
    • ‘The quartet specializes in old-school emo.’
    • ‘We weren't a bedroom pop outfit by any stretch; back then we played dour, emotionally apoplexed emocore.’
    • ‘In short, it's a record that forges its own new genre: emo for adults.’
    • ‘While the lyrics are kind of abstract and emotional the way emo is, this is a pure indie CD.’
    • ‘Half of the album is emo, the band have completely abandoned playing any jazz.’
    • ‘Leaving emo behind, The Only Children take the roots-rock and country-folk route, drenched in acoustic guitar and pedal steel.’
    • ‘There is a very wide variety of emo.’
    • ‘I like emo and some pop punk bands.’
    • ‘They were always a little too loud and clever to be emo.’
    • ‘They hold a rather unique style of music, they're not quite rock, punk, or emo.’
    • ‘Throughout their set of high-energy emo they thanked any audience member within a 20 foot radius for moving closer to the stage.’
    • ‘Emo isn't dead, it just needs more bands like this.’
    • ‘With all the attention that emo has been getting over the last few years, it's no surprise that more and more bands are popping out of the woodwork.’
    1. 1.1count noun An admirer of emo music or a member of the subculture associated with it.
      ‘I'm not one of those emos who are always crying—I just want to make that clear’
      • ‘There's no need to be scared of a group of emos as they're more likely to harm themselves than you.’
      • ‘Emos say the bashing incidents have increased and the habitual harassment intensified.’
      • ‘The emos who hang out in Mexico City's Insurgentes Circle, distant relations of our own kohl-eyed musical mopes, face constant harassment from corrupt police and local punks.’
      • ‘Chicks dig the hipsters and the emos.’
      • ‘Amid the furore, little has been heard from the emos themselves.’
      • ‘Now there are emos in schools nationwide, alongside the plethora of more established tribes.’
      • ‘I suspect that emos will be running the country in 20-30 years.’
      • ‘Emos also attract attention for self-harming.’
      • ‘Many emos are intelligent, sociable, highly organised, and more than capable of making a concerted collective response.’
      • ‘And like their counterparts in Mexico and Russia, Egyptian emos have more to worry about than just being mocked by their peers; they are now being actively targeted by the police.’
      • ‘He had always thought James was a closet case like a lot of emos.’
      • ‘Katy's boyfriend was there too, he was sort of an emo - but he was really awesome at skateboarding and stuff apparently.’
      • ‘The revelation that emos may have been responsible for the stencilled graffiti merely played in to an existing narrative of fear and distrust.’
      • ‘Introverted, unthreatening, wimpy and polite when approached, it isn't immediately obvious why emos have suddenly become national hate figures.’
      • ‘The emos and the chavs (ironically, both factions are associated with hooded tops) are merely the latest social dichotomy to publicly clash.’
      • ‘The Emos regard themselves as a cool, young sub-set of the Goths.’
      • ‘In common with many emos, Sam wore alternative black or dark clothing and had long hair, which attracted the bullies.’
      • ‘Being an Emo, for instance, is a great way to avoid the hard questions of who are you and what have you done?’
      • ‘Discerning readers were offered tips for identifying emos: they were "driven by punk and emotion", wore "guyliner" and "manscarer" and were to be found "loitering in streets often dismal and in tears".’
      • ‘Strikingly apolitical and averse to the urgent rebelliousness of others, emos are happy to admit that they have no ideology beyond insisting on their right to do what they want.’


  • Denoting or relating to emo and its associated subculture.

    ‘an emo band’
    ‘emo kids’
    • ‘My husband would scornfully call me an emo girl trapped in the body of a grown woman.’
    • ‘I really like my brother, but he's 14 and going through an emo stage and he just acts all the time like he hates me.’
    • ‘Aww, geez, Greg - I don't wanna be in an emo band!’
    • ‘That emo crowd hates us but we don't care.’
    • ‘The melodies and harmonies make it sound like it belongs on an emo record.’
    • ‘I'm tempted to get an emo haircut, who dares me?’
    • ‘Blogging seems appropriate for an emo kid trapped in the body of a nu-metal lead singer, but what about a thuggish, ruggish street poet?’
    • ‘The teenager fell in love with the fictitious guitarist who portrayed himself as a member of the "emo" subculture.’
    • ‘I'm still an emo kid.’
    • ‘There's definitely kind of an emo edge to our music.’
    • ‘We played with an emo band at Listen, and it actually went over surprisingly well.’
    • ‘I guess that's an emo thing?’
    • ‘They're a punk band not an emo band and they're very hard working.’
    • ‘From what people tell me this album has more of an emo feel in some places.’
    • ‘The 25-year-old divorcee seems destined to be stuck as an emo teenager for the rest of her career.’
    • ‘The band's third full-length finds the quartet continuing to reach beyond the limits prescribed by their emo roots.’
    • ‘Charlie is a bit of an emo kid - a bit emotional.’
    • ‘The chorus here wouldn't sound out of place at all in an emo song.’
    • ‘"We didn't set out to be an emo band," says the bassist.’
    • ‘He has hair that hangs over his ears and looks like a combination of the Beatles and an emo kid.’


1990s: short for emotional hardcore.