I looked at the other definitions, and there seems to few people on here that actually know what they're talking about. So I thought I'd add mine, with a bit of history and background information...

1976 saw the birth of punk, bringing with it many sub-genres, sub-sub-genres, and sub-sub-sub-sub-genres. In the early 80s, punk had branched off into several different styles, and ways of taking the genre. In 1981 there was a large amount of "hardcore" bands emerging from the D.C. scene. One of these bands were called "Minor Threat", who had a very vibrant, and melodic sound.

Nearing the end of 1983, the band "Minor Threat" broke up, after the band seemed to "run out of steam", and their last 7" single "Salad Days" in 1984 finally killed the band, and the DC hardcore scene.

After that new bands emerged, taking the genre their own way. 1984 showed the release of "Zen Arcade", an album by minneapolis band "Husker Du". This interpretation showed much more powerful, intense vocals with slow, melancholy and more melodic song writing.

In Spring 1984, D.C. Hardcore band "Rites of Spring" emerged, taking inspiration from the earlier hardcore scene. The band brought a totally new vocal approach to Husker Du's original style.

Summer 1985 became known as the "revolution summer" when a whole wave of hardcore bands emerged from the D.C. scene such as Gray Matter, Soulside, Ignition and Dag Nasty. Few bands retained the original fast paced, hardcore style proposed by "Rites of Spring" and "Husker Du" but took a much more droney, melodic approach to the genre.

These bands were then labelled the "D.C. Sound" or "D.C. Hardcore", and some of them were labelled "emo".

It was never suggested by Rites Of Spring that the term "emo" was short for anything. Although it has been proposed that emo was short for "emotive hardcore" or "emotionally charged hardcore punk" in a 1985 flipside interview with the band they claimed they were "not a punk rock band" and it was never mentioned in the text that they were "emotional" or "emotive" although the term "emo" was used several times.

Again, people took the genre several ways. Some people took an "Indie-rock" approach to the genre, while others retained a "post hardcore" style.

Many emo bands were poorly paid, underground, and rarely heard of, and few records were ever released around the genre. Which is probably why today it is so easily mistaken and misunderstood.

The "D.C. hardcore scene" grew, and with it, a stereotype fashion. People with a "Mop-top" haircut, skinny t-shirts and old trainers became a classic "D.C. hardcore scene" cliche. However, not all of these were "emo fans" nor were they in any way "emo's". It is suggested that this idea was taken, and progressed through the nineties to a much more "geeky" look nowadays.

However, emo is a genre of music, argue all you like, your still wrong. Saying "I am an emo" is like saying "I am a jazz", which is not possible. Emo has been heavily marketed by magazines (Kerrang etc.) and a totally wrong idea of the genre is now being spread across youths.

The early 90s saw a last breath for emo, with a much more softer, "Indie-rock" take on the genre. After that, the rest is history. It's a shame the genre was dragged through the gutter like that.
Emo - Rites Of Spring, Dag Nasty, SDRE, Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi...

What? - GUYS IN GIRL PANTS R HOT!!!11

Anything to do with 14 year old girls instantly becomes void of the possibility of it having anything to do with emo.
by Jorj May 25, 2006

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1121
Emos are not Gothic at all, they don't dress up like Goths, they do not act like Goths, they do not talk like Goths, they don't listen to same music as Goths and they don't have the same hair style as Goths.

Emo stands for emotional and that is exactly what Emos are, there is no way of identifying them except if you see them cutting themself.

If you ever see a guy with black clothing and black hair, Immeditly think of Gothic people, not Emos.
Someone- Hey look at that kid with a yellow shirt on and some jeans! He looks nice with that blond hair!

Someone else- Oh look! He is cutting himself! He is one of the Emos!

Someone- Let's not bother with him.
by Ethan25 July 14, 2010

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1122
kids pretend life sucks but in reality all is good. its just an exuse to steal trends from punks, metal heads, and goths. and also most of them are bi.
emo kids are fags
by blackmetal666 January 28, 2009

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1123
Emo, noun. Sub-genre of really pathetic people, who give goths, and people with real emotional problems a bad name. Usually found listening to old-school cd players and over-sized head-phones. Reason, they want to be different. They fail at this because they are all different together. Usually they even look the same. Fringe of jet-black hair to covering the right or left 2/3 of their face. Girls usually wear skin tight black jeans, guys steal their girlfriends' jeans. And make up. And sex-toys. And ex boyfriends. Emo's usually complain about how no-one understands them, that's because no one cares about a snotty rich kid who creates fictional problems because they're bored and have too much money. If you want to find out more about emo's go to your next, 30 Seconds to mars, Hawthorne Heights, or <insert mildly angsty band name> to view them in their full, sad splendour.

You are emo if you started crying after the second sentence.

Also, there is nothing more entertaining than making fun of an emo. I personally sleep on a waterbed filled with the tears of a thousand emo's.
EMO: Isn't it possible for two, or four guys to make out, naked and not be gay?

I'm so sad, I'm going to write poetry in my diary and listen to my favourite band, June in December. Thank God mom pre-heated my razor blade for me, I don't like it when it's cold.
by EmoBasher 101 December 07, 2007

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1124
Both a style and a type of music. the style is that boys were girl pants and tight sweaters and shirts. hair for both boys and girls covers most of the face and can be dyed purple,green,red,etc... the music includes popular bands like Fall Out Boy and Aiden. Usually emos are sad and depressed and some cut themselves.
"waw waw waw....sob sob sob..... my chemical romance just killed themselves. i am going to bleed my self now becuase im emo."
by mateo chavez August 05, 2007

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1125
A person of indiscriminate gender.
Bi-curious tendencies.
Unawareness of gender roles.
An excuse for guys, to act like girls.
Someone who wears expensive shrunken clothes to express their pessimism of the world.
A person who of high-class, but searches for a good excuse, to appear unaccepted and to act like they've had a hard life.
Rick: Hi
Emo: ...
Rick: You look sad.
Emo: I am sad.
Rick: Why?
Emo: I'm always sad.
Rick: Is there any thing I can do?
Emo: Want to release our pain through the cutting of flesh.
Rick: ?!?!
by The Ruffio August 04, 2007

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1126
one nameless crowd of knobs with bad hairstyles, they all look the same (depressed) which is probably why they are all (depressed) and they usually have rings or some shit hanging out of their faces. (if you can see it behind the bad hairstyle) often these people are noticed to be crying for no reason at all
Get a haircut you emo piece of shit
by Skinna July 23, 2007

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1127
emo-may apper to be a goth, but actually shows signs of feelings and life. usually cut themselves because of depression or as a way to blow off steam. they wear scarves, tight pants, and dark shirts. they listen to taking back sunday, my chemical romance or dashboard confessional.
note: dont be mean to them just cuz their different, this definition was not ment to offend anyone.
emo girl:my mom took away my knief.
emo boy: that sucks, you can borrow mine if you need to.
by any spare names? June 13, 2007

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