Pop Culture dictionary

MTV Video Music Awards

or VMAs [ em tee vee vid-ee-oh myoo-zik uh-wawrdz ]

What are the MTV Video Music Awards?

The MTV Video Music Awards, popularly known as the VMAs, is an award ceremony honoring excellence in the music recording industry.

The awards presented at the event are also called MTV Video Music Awards, but are much more popularly referred to as VMAs, as in She won a VMA for Song of the Year.

The VMAs honor winners in many different categories and genres, including pop, hip hop, rock, and others. Prominent awards include Video of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. The VMAs are known for featuring numerous musical performances.

The award statuette is in the shape of an astronaut planting a flag in the ground, a reference to an early MTV logo. It has been nicknamed moonman or moonperson.

The VMAs are hosted by US cable network and media company MTV, which is known for its music, pop culture, and reality programming aimed at a young audience. MTV also hosts another award show, the MTV Movie and TV Awards.

When are the MTV Video Music Awards?

The 2021 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) will be held on September 12.

The VMAs are usually held in the summer, most commonly in August.

Learn about another venerated music awards show by reading about the Grammys.

Related words

Beavis, #AccidentalMusic, WAP, cake by the ocean, BTS

Where does MTV Video Music Awards come from?

The first MTV Video Music Awards ceremony was held in 1984 during the period when MTV was primarily known for showing music videos.

Examples of MTV Video Music Awards

The 2017 @MTV Video Music Awards will return to L.A. August 27 at 8/7c. Who would you be most excited to see perform at the #VMAs?
@MikeAdamOnAir, April 20, 2017
Very excited for the vmas :) thanks for getting us here 😁
@Luke5SOS, August 24, 2014
For much of their existence, the MTV Video Music Awards have seemed to operate by an unspoken rule: Give the awards to the most famous people who show up.
Joe Coscarelli, Caryn Ganz, Jon Pareles, Ben Sisario and Lindsay Zoladz, New York Times, August 31, 2020

More information and context on the MTV Video Music Awards

Did you know … ?

  • Only five trophies were created for the first VMAs and were recycled throughout the ceremony.
  • Some discontinued VMA categories include Best Ringtone, Best Artist Website, and Best Video Game Soundtrack.
  • In 2010, Lady Gaga wore a Franc Fernandez-designed dress to the VMAs that was made from 50 pounds of raw meat.

What are other words used in discussion of the MTV Video Music Awards?

Just Added

Swiftie, BFFR, gyatt, vibecession, boyfriend air


This is not meant to be a formal definition of MTV Video Music Awards like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of MTV Video Music Awards that will help our users expand their word mastery.