[ em ]

noun,plural ems.
  1. the letter M, m.

  2. Also called mut, mutton. Printing.

    • the square of any size of type used as the unit of measurement for matter printed in that type size.

    • (originally) the portion of a line of type occupied by the letter M in type of the same size.

  1. Printing. having the area of an em quad or the length of an em dash.

Origin of em

First recorded in 1860–65

Other definitions for 'em (2 of 7)

[ uhm ]

  1. them: Put 'em down there.

Origin of 'em

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English hem, Old English heom, dative and accusative plural of he1

Other definitions for Em (3 of 7)


Symbol, Physical Chemistry.

Other definitions for EM (4 of 7)


  1. electronic mail.

  2. electron microscope; electron microscopy.

  3. end matched.

  4. Engineer of Mines.

  5. enlisted man; enlisted men.

Other definitions for em- (5 of 7)


  1. variant of en-1 before b, p, and sometimes m:embalm.

Other definitions for em- (6 of 7)


  1. variant of en-2 before b, m, p, ph:embolism, emphasis.

Other definitions for E.M. (7 of 7)


  1. Earl Marshal.

  2. Engineer of Mines.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use em in a sentence

  • The sick allers ez took care on among them, they sed, 's long uz enny on em hez got a thing left.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • There are three there, Bill, with a jolly large blue unicorn and a gold pitchfork on em, which is the old ladys arms.

  • Coals!what would he do with coals?Toast his cheese with em, and then come back for more.

  • Theres too many of em trying to keep their hands clean, an livin above their means.

  • And all the fal-lals and di-does they larn em in high school now doesnt amount to a row of pins in practical life.

British Dictionary definitions for em (1 of 3)


/ (ɛm) /

  1. Also called: mutton, mut the square of a body of any size of type, used as a unit of measurement

  2. Also called: pica em, pica a unit of measurement used in printing, equal to one sixth of an inch

Origin of em

C19: from the name of the letter M

British Dictionary definitions for 'em (2 of 3)


/ (əm) /

  1. an informal variant of them

British Dictionary definitions for em- (3 of 3)


  1. before b, m, and p, a variant of en- 1, en- 2

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