Dictionary.com

em

[ em ]
/ ɛm /
Save This Word!

noun, plural ems.
the letter M, m.
Also called mut, mutton. Printing.
  1. the square of any size of type used as the unit of measurement for matter printed in that type size.
  2. (originally) the portion of a line of type occupied by the letter M in type of the same size.
adjective
Printing. having the area of an em quad or the length of an em dash.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of em

First recorded in 1860–65

Other definitions for em (2 of 7)

'em
[ uhm ]
/ əm /

pronoun Informal.
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)

Em

Symbol, Physical Chemistry.

Other definitions for em (4 of 7)

EM

abbreviation

Other definitions for em (5 of 7)

em-1

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

Other definitions for em (6 of 7)

em-2

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

Other definitions for em (7 of 7)

E.M.

abbreviation
Earl Marshal.
Engineer of Mines.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use em in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for em (1 of 3)

em
/ (ɛm) /

noun printing
Also called: mutton, mut the square of a body of any size of type, used as a unit of measurement
Also called: pica em, pica a unit of measurement used in printing, equal to one sixth of an inch

Word Origin for em

C19: from the name of the letter M

British Dictionary definitions for em (2 of 3)

'em
/ (əm) /

pronoun
an informal variant of them

British Dictionary definitions for em (3 of 3)

em-

prefix
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

Medical definitions for em (1 of 2)

EM

abbr.
electron microscope

Medical definitions for em (2 of 2)

em-

pref.
Variant ofen-
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
FEEDBACK