emergency medical service.
Digital Technology. enhanced message service: a system for sending long or formatted text messages, images, music, etc., from one cell phone to another.Compare SMS(def 1a).
European Monetary System.
express mail service: an international service offered by the postal operators of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).



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.


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

Origin of em

First recorded in 1860–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for ems

transport, rescue, EMS

Examples from the Web for ems

Contemporary Examples of ems

Historical Examples of ems

  • At Ems I shall not be a conjuror: but I never part with my box.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • In summer, all the world—of Leipsic—goes out of town, to Baden or Ems.

    Funny Big Socks

    Sarah L. Barrow

  • I foresee a snub for our ambassador at Ems, but that is all.


    Robert W. Chambers

  • The Ems, on the other hand, only serves towns of the second class.

    The Riddle of the Sands

    Erskine Childers

  • Yes, that must be it, for the Ems sailed yesterday from Southampton.

    A Cathedral Courtship

    Kate Douglas Wiggin

British Dictionary definitions for ems


Bad Ems


a town in W Germany, in the Rhineland-Palatinate: famous for the Ems Telegram (1870), Bismarck's dispatch that led to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. Pop: 9666 (2003 est)
a river in W Germany, rising in the Teutoburger Wald and flowing generally north to the North Sea. Length: about 370 km (230 miles)


abbreviation for

European Monetary System
enhanced messaging service: a system used for sending text messages containing special text formatting, animations, etc, to and from mobile phones


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
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

ems in Medicine



electrical muscle stimulation
Emergency Medical Service



electron microscope
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.