View synonyms for emotion


[ ih-moh-shuhn ]


  1. an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.
  2. any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, etc.
  3. any strong agitation of the feelings actuated by experiencing love, hate, fear, etc., and usually accompanied by certain physiological changes, as increased heartbeat or respiration, and often overt manifestation, as crying or shaking.
  4. an instance of this.
  5. something that causes such a reaction:

    the powerful emotion of a great symphony.


/ ɪˈməʊʃən /


  1. any strong feeling, as of joy, sorrow, or fear


/ ĭ-mōshən /

  1. A psychological state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is sometimes accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling.

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Derived Forms

  • eˈmotionless, adjective

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Other Words From

  • e·motion·a·ble adjective
  • e·motion·less adjective
  • pree·motion noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of emotion1

First recorded in 1570–80; apparently from Middle French esmotion, from esmovoir “to set in motion, move the feelings,” from Vulgar Latin exmovēre (unrecorded; literary Latin ēmovēre ); e- 1( def ), move ( def ), motion ( def )

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Word History and Origins

Origin of emotion1

C16: from French, from Old French esmovoir to excite, from Latin ēmovēre to disturb, from movēre to move

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Example Sentences

In movies like Inception, Interstellar, Dunkirk, Memento, and more, he’s been toying with that concept, finding emotion and feeling in the emotionless fabric of the universe.

From Vox

The stories that tend to go viral on Facebook are those that stoke emotion and divisiveness, critics argue.

From Fortune

Rivers and LeBron James had passionately described the emotions the NBA community felt after seeing the video of Blake’s shooting.

From Fortune

People living in small, relatively isolated communities, such as Himba farmers and herders in southern Africa, often rank facial emotions differently than Westerners do if asked to describe on their own what a facial expression shows, Roberson says.

When we see an emotion on the face of another, we feel it ourselves.

Throughout all the stories of loss and pain with the Chief, there was barely a trace of emotion.

The shared feelings, the bubbling emotion, the awe: she became an experience.

She suggests mindfulness exercises to help us process the emotion before it triggers a response.

Even when he opens up, the sentences are wooden, the scenes sucked dry of emotion.

He was not a man given to casual affectionate display; the moment was charged with emotion.

After a minute's pause, while he stood painfully silent, she resumed in great emotion.

But I doubt if he feels any particular emotion himself, when he is piercing you through with his rendering.

The medium pitch expresses warmth, emotion, and the heart qualities.

Her fat red cheeks would quiver with emotion, and be wet with briny tears, over the sorrows of Mr. Trollope's heroines.

Even the stern, inflexible commander turned to hide an emotion he would have blushed to betray.


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More About Emotion

What does emotion mean?

An emotion is a spontaneous mental reaction, such as joy, sorrow, hate, and love. Emotions always involve mental activity and sometimes have physical effects on the body, as in She could tell what emotion he was feeling by looking at his face.

The word emotion is used generally to refer collectively to these intense feelings or an expression of them, as in The director really wanted to see some emotion from the lead actress.

What causes someone’s emotions and how someone feels or expresses their emotions differs from person to person. You and your friend might both feel sad to have failed an important test. Your reaction to your sad emotion might be to cry, while your friend’s reaction might be to shout.

The word emotional describes something that is related to emotions, causing an emotion to happen, or easily experiencing emotions.

Example: I have a hard time sharing my emotions with people and instead try to appear stoic.

Where does emotion come from?

The first records of emotion come from the 1570s. It ultimately comes from the Latin ēmovēre, meaning “to disturb.”

Emotions are part of the human consciousness. They often strongly affect a person’s behavior, and many people will go to extremes to not have to feel a negative emotion, such as fear, or to feel a positive one, such as happiness.

People are often told to control their emotions, especially children. But emotions are spontaneous responses. That is, they happen without conscious thought or planning. We can’t control them, and there is no right or wrong emotion. Emotions just are. Instead, we can control our reactions to our emotions. When we’re angry, for example, we can choose to say so rather than punch something.

Scientists theorize that humans aren’t the only animals capable of experiencing emotions. For example, if you approach a mouse, it will most likely run and hide from you out of fear. And research has shown that chimpanzees seem to behave in ways that suggest they feel emotions such as sadness, joy, and love.

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What are some other forms related to emotion?

  • emotional (adjective)
  • emotionless (adjective)
  • emotionable (adjective)
  • preemotion (noun)

What are some synonyms for emotion?

What are some words that share a root or word element with emotion

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

How is emotion used in real life?

Emotion is a common word that means the intense feelings that we commonly experience.



Try using emotion!

Which of the following is not an emotion?

A. anger
B. sadness
C. hunger
D. happiness

When To Use

What are other ways to say emotion?

The noun emotion is used to refer to any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or love, or to any strong agitation of feelings. How is emotion different from passion, feeling, and sentiment? Find out on