[ em-see ]
/ ˈɛmˈsi /
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See synonyms for: emcee / emceed / emceeing on Thesaurus.com


verb (used with object), em·ceed, em·cee·ing.

to act as master of ceremonies for.

verb (used without object), em·ceed, em·cee·ing.

to act as master of ceremonies.



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Origin of emcee

1935–35, Americanism; spelling form of the abbreviation MC or M.C.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does emcee mean?

An emcee is the person who serves as the host of an event by introducing performers, speakers, or other participants. It comes from the abbreviation MC, which stands for master of ceremonies

Emcee is a less formal way of saying master of ceremonies. Both terms are used in the context of events like weddings, banquets, and awards ceremonies, but, of the two, emcee is more commonly used in less formal situations.

In hip-hop, emcee is often used as a synonym for rapper, especially one skilled at lyricism.

Emcee can also be used as a verb meaning to act as an emcee.

Example: The local radio DJ acted as the emcee and introduced the competitors of the breakdancing contest.

Where does emcee come from?

The term master of ceremonies has been used since at least the 1600s, originally referring to an official who presided over royal ceremonies. The first records of emcee come from the 1930s, from the U.S. The spelling emcee is based on what it sounds like when you say the abbreviation MC (for master of ceremonies). The spelling deejay—for DJ, standing for disc jockey—is formed the same way.

At some weddings, the DJ acts as the emcee. But at other weddings and many other kinds of events, there is a dedicated emcee. Their job is typically to serve as a host, speak to the audience, and keep the show or event on track by introducing speakers, performers, or any other people involved in the event.

In hip-hop, use of the word emcee (or MC) comes from the early days of rap, when a master of ceremonies would sometimes talk to the crowd while the DJ played music. Some of them started rhyming over the beat. While emcee is often used synonymously with rapper, some people make a distinction between the terms. A rapper considered an emcee is often one who is thought to elevate the level of artistry and skill, especially lyrically.

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What are some other forms related to emcee?

What are some synonyms for emcee?

What are some words that often get used in discussing emcee?

How is emcee used in real life?

Emcee is commonly used in the context of weddings and other events where guests and performers need to be introduced. It is typically used more informally than the phrase it is based on—master of ceremonies.



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True or False?

The emcee is the person who is supposed to keep an event on track and will typically introduce speakers or performers.

Example sentences from the Web for emcee

British Dictionary definitions for emcee

/ (ˌɛmˈsiː) informal /


a master of ceremonies

verb -cees, -ceeing or -ceed

to act as master of ceremonies (for or at)

Word Origin for emcee

C20: from the abbreviation MC
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