- an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.
- any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, etc.
- any strong agitation of the feelings actuated by experiencing love, hate, fear, etc., and usually accompanied by certain physiological changes, as increased heartbeat or respiration, and often overt manifestation, as crying or shaking.
- an instance of this.
- something that causes such a reaction: the powerful emotion of a great symphony.
- any strong feeling, as of joy, sorrow, or fear
1570s, “a (social) moving, stirring, agitation,” from Middle French émotion (16c.), from Old French emouvoir “stir up” (12c.), from Latin emovere “move out, remove, agitate,” from ex- “out” (see ex-) + movere “to move” (see move (v.)). Sense of “strong feeling” is first recorded 1650s; extended to any feeling by 1808.
- An intense mental state that arises subjectively rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes.
- A psychological state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is sometimes accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling.