- The definition of a cameo is jewelry with a plain colored background and a profile carved in portrait in a different color, or a short literary depiction that captures the essence of someone or something, or is a brief appearance in a play, film or television show by someone famous.
- A necklace you wear that has a white face carved in profile set on a blue background is an example of a cameo.
- A short written description that captures what it is like to live in the Caribbean is an example of a cameo.
- When Brad Pitt or some other famous movie star appears for just two or three minutes in the middle of a movie, this is an example of a cameo.
A cameo brooch.
- a carving in relief on certain stratified gems (sardonyx, agate, etc.) or shells so that the raised design, often a head in profile, is usually in a layer of different color from its background
- a gem, shell, etc. so carved
- a minor but well-defined role in a play, film, etc., esp. when performed by a notable actor
- a fine bit of descriptive writing
Origin of cameoItalian cammeo ; from Medieval Latin camaeus, camahutus; ultimately ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Persian chumāhän, agate
- a. A gem or shell carved in relief, especially one in which the raised design and the background consist of layers of contrasting colors.b. The technique of carving in this way.c. A medallion with a profile cut in raised relief.
- A brief vivid portrayal or depiction: a literary cameo.
- A brief appearance of a prominent actor or celebrity, as in a single scene of a motion picture. Also called cameo role.
verbcam·e·oed, cam·e·o·ing, cam·e·os
- To make into or like a gem or shell carved in relief.
- To portray in sharp, delicate relief, as in a literary composition.
Origin of cameoItalian cameo and Middle English cameu (from Old French camaieu and Medieval Latin camahūtus).
(third-person singular simple present cameos, present participle cameoing, simple past and past participle cameoed)
- To appear in a cameo role.
From Italian cammeo. The movie sense is short for “cameo role” referring to a famous person who was playing no character, but him or herself. Like a cameo brooch — a low-relief carving of a person’s head or bust — the actor or celebrity is instantly recognizable. More recently, it has come to refer to any short appearances, whether as a character or as oneself.