Meaning of “emotional” in the English Dictionary

"emotional" in British English

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uk /ɪˈməʊ.ʃən.əl/ us /ɪˈmoʊ.ʃən.əl/

B2 relating to the emotions:

a child's emotional development
My doctor said the problem was more emotional than physical.
Amnesia can be caused by emotional trauma.

B2 having and expressing strong feelings:

He's a very emotional man.
I felt quite emotional during the wedding ceremony.
He became very emotional when I told him I was pregnant.
The president has made an emotional plea for the killing to stop.

More examples

  • The missing child's distraught parents made an emotional appeal for information on TV.
  • She claimed that the way she had been treated at work had caused her extreme emotional and psychological distress.
  • People generally think that women are more emotional than men, but in my experience that often isn't the case.
  • It can be difficult to respond to children's emotional needs because we have got used to disregarding our own.
  • The memorial service was a very emotional occasion for all of us.
adverb uk /ɪˈməʊ.ʃən.əl.i/ us /ɪˈmoʊ.ʃən.əl.i/


She spoke emotionally about her experiences as a war correspondent.
Many children have become emotionally disturbed as a result of the abuse they have suffered.
an emotionally charged issue (= causing strong feelings)

(Definition of “emotional” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"emotional" in American English

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us /ɪˈmoʊ·ʃə·nəl/

connected with or showing feelings:

The mayor made an emotional appeal for aid following the tornado.
adverb us /ɪˈmoʊ·ʃə·nəl·i/

The coach appeared emotionally drained after yesterday’s loss.

(Definition of “emotional” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)