[ ih-moh-shuh-nl ]
/ ɪˈmoʊ ʃə nl /


pertaining to or involving emotion or the emotions.
subject to or easily affected by emotion: We are an emotional family, given to demonstrations of affection.
appealing to the emotions: an emotional request for contributions.
showing or revealing very strong emotions: an emotional scene in a play.
actuated, effected, or determined by emotion rather than reason: An emotional decision is often a wrong decision.
governed by emotion: He is in a highly emotional state of mind.

Nearby words

  1. emory,
  2. emory oak,
  3. emote,
  4. emoticon,
  5. emotion,
  6. emotional correctness,
  7. emotional deprivation,
  8. emotional disorder,
  9. emotional eating,
  10. emotional illness

Origin of emotional

First recorded in 1840–50; emotion + -al1

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for emotionally

British Dictionary definitions for emotionally


/ (ɪˈməʊʃənəl) /


of, characteristic of, or expressive of emotion
readily or excessively affected by emotion
appealing to or arousing emotionan emotional piece of music
caused, determined, or actuated by emotion rather than reasonan emotional argument
Derived Formsemotionality, nounemotionally, adverb

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

Word Origin and History for emotionally



1821, "pertaining to emotion," from emotion + -al (1). Meaning "liable to emotions" attested by 1857. Related: Emotionally. Emotional intelligence coined by mid-1960s, popular from mid-1980s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper