American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A gem or shell carved in relief, especially one in which the raised design and the background consist of layers of contrasting colors.
- n. The technique of carving in this way.
- n. A medallion with a profile cut in raised relief.
- n. A brief vivid portrayal or depiction: a literary cameo.
- n. A brief appearance of a prominent actor, as in a single scene of a motion picture. Also called cameo role.
- v. To make into or like a gem or shell carved in relief.
- v. To portray in sharp, delicate relief, as in a literary composition.
- v. To make a brief appearance, as in a film: She cameoed as Anne Boleyn in A Man for All Seasons.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An engraving in relief upon a gem, a hard stone of moderate size, or a similar material, or the object itself so engraved, as distinguished from an intaglio; specifically, such an engraving upon a stone or a shell having two or three layers differing in color, such as an onyx, agate, etc., and so treated as to utilize the effect of the variety of coloring. Cameos on stone are called
stone cameos, in contradistinction to the shell cameos, or those cut on shells which have superposed layers varying in color, such as the Cassis rufa, which gives red on sardonyx, the Cassis madagascariensis, white on dark claret, the Cassis cornuta, white on orange, the Strombus gigas, white on pink, and other tropical shells. Cameos in distinct bands of colors have been produced since about 150 b. c.; and some of the ancient examples, as the Sainte Chapelle agate, in Paris (13 by 11 inches), representing the apotheosis of Augustus, and the Vienna onyx (9 by 8 inches), representing allegorically the coronation of Augustus, surpass in size and in delicacy of execution the best modern specimens.
- n. Hence Raised or anaglyphic work in art on a miniature scale; specifically, the art of engraving small figures in relief: opposed to intaglio: as, a stone or shell cut in cameo; a vase ornamented in cameo.
- n. A piece of jewelry, etc., carved in relief.
- n. A single very brief appearance by a prominent celebrity in a movie or song.
- v. To appear in a cameo role.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A carving in relief, esp. one on a small scale used as a jewel for personal adornment, or like.
- n. engraving or carving in low relief on a stone (as in a brooch or ring)
- 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. (Wiktionary)
- Italian cameo and Middle English cameu (from Old French camaieu and Medieval Latin camahūtus). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“This cameo is the reason why Connery got bumped to the number two position on the list.”
“This cameo is a perfect example of playing against type, and it probably has something to do with a bit of an Alice Cooper re-emergence around the early nineties.”
“They come and make what we call cameo appearances, but as a group, they didn't hang.”
“I just hope that superman cameo is still in the movie.”
“In 1999, the Albert Brooks comedy "The Muse" featured a cameo from the filmmaker, depicting him as someone unsure of what to do next.”
“And hope you stayed to the end to see a cameo from the great John Amos, playing second fiddle to a dog named Stanley.”
“One of the great pleasures of Barney's Version, the opening night feature of the Hamptons International Film Festival, was the parade of Canadian filmmakers in cameo roles: David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, among them.”
“After always being teased mercilessly about being from Canada, Robin tries to show everyone that she's got what it takes to be a real New York resident on "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS at 8), which has a cameo from the one and only Maury Povich.”
“Great List, the Bill Murray cameo is probably one of the best things about “Zombieland” (the other of which include Woody Harrelson, and hot chicks blowing up Zombies … which basically guarantees four stars in my book.)”
“I wonder what Shamalongadindong's cameo is going to be?”
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