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.
#dag nasty #embrace #rites of spring #dc hardcore #post hardcore
by Jorj May 25, 2006
To me, it's a label. A stupid steriotype.
Emo's ARE NOT wrist cutters. Wrist cutters are wrist cutters.

Emo's can laugh and smile.

It's not a bad damn thing! Some of my best friends are emoish. I don't see why people like to make fun of them.

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE IS NOT EMO!

Not all emos where tight pants.

We dont go and cry every time we get made fun of. Some of us can beat your ass :]

And that is my definition of emo.

If you don't like it, then screw you :]
Prep: Fawking emo!
Emo: ...-Punches the prep right in the face- HA!
#emo #label #steriotype #awesome #we #will #hurt #you #preps
by Jayde~ July 10, 2008
Emu spelled with an o instead of a u. A big stupid looking bird.
That girl is so emo it's hard not to laugh.
#fraud #freak #fake #faux feelings #flatulent
by benth November 10, 2008
This word has lots of meanings, but it is mainly used as a negative term for a fashion and music style that though perfectly acceptable is considered bad. This term has been used to stereotype people and deindividualise them(in particular teenagers) as something that in reality does not represent them at all.

Many people claim to hate "emo's" meaning they hate people they stereotype as emo. This makes very little sense, as it means they hate someone for the way they look and the music they like. This does not reflect their personality. Basically, if used seriously emo is a term used by pathetic narrow-minded losers who just have no respect for other peoples tastes and seem to think they know what everyone is like by how they are dressed. They are also stupid enough to think a fashion trend will make someone self-harm.

Most people who use the term emo negatively and seriously are people who can only see the surface of anything as if they actually thought about it they would realise that maybe emo kids are teenagers who were originally generally more emotional/thoughtful/sensitive than most and found the emo fashion and music to fit their taste.

If thats what they like wearing and thats what they like listening to then let them and bugger off!!! They wear it because they like it. Same reason you wear what you wear and you listen to what you listen to, you emo haters are not supreme beings who can decide what is and isn't good taste so get lost you socially conforming arseholes!!
Boy 1: Urgh look it's an emo fag
Boy 2: What makes you say he's a fag?
Boy 1: He's wearing makeup, how gay is that?
Boy 2: He's allowed to wear makeup isn't he? Doesn't make him gay, just means he doesn't conform to his gender stereotype.
Boy 1: Duuuh, what? Your gay... uuur i'm cleffer
Boy 2: Yeah... ok mate, bye!
#emo #stereotyping #deindividualising #conforming #supremecy
by Katieface April 12, 2007
a) short for the term emotional...in a musical sense
b) music derived in the 80's... with such bands as Rites of Spring, Texas is the Reason, and more.
c) can be used to describe a person who listens to emo, can relate to most of it and then cry because they can relate to it and not just because its emo.

emo music is not punk.

emo music usually contains lyrics which have a desperate side to them. written usually about a past girlfriend or experience.

by Kelly October 30, 2003
Something that retards label things that they don't like.
Retard: LAWL! I'm so fucking stupid! Everything that I don't like is emo. I don't even know what that word means, but whatever! OH SHIT I JUST SWALLOWED A QUARTER!
#emo #retard #moron #jackass #asshat #fucktard #dickfuck #cunt dragger #dee dee dee #dumbass
by Bloodbath 87 March 06, 2009
A strange breed of human that can be identified by stupid haircuts, suicidal tendencies, constant whining, the wearing of tight pants, and usually no mate. Because of this, scientists believe that most males in this species lack reproductive organs.
Stop whining, you emo.
by Melbirn January 12, 2005
Emergency Management Office
In times of emergency or disaster, EMO coordinates the response of State agencies ensuring the most appropriate resources are dispatched to the impacted area.
by Toby Reynolds May 29, 2005
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