The term “emotion” comes from the Latin word “emotio,” which means “a moving out” or “agitation.” This is derived from the Latin verb “emovere,” meaning “to move out” or “to stir up,” which itself comes from “e-” meaning “out” and “movere,” meaning “to move.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “*meue-” means “to push away” or “to move.”

2. Latin

From the PIE root, the Latin word “movere” developed, meaning “to move.” The verb “emovere” combines “e-” (out) and “movere” (to move), meaning “to move out” or “to stir up.” The noun “emotio” is derived from “emovere,” meaning “a moving out” or “agitation.”

3. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “emotio” evolved into Old French “emotion,” meaning “a moving out” or “a stirring up.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “emotion” was adopted into Middle English as “emocioun,” meaning “a moving out” or “a feeling.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “emotion” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, retaining the meaning of “a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.”

Phonetic Evolution

Over time, the pronunciation of “emotion” has remained relatively stable, transitioning from Old French “emotion” to Modern English “emotion.”

Usage Examples

  • “Her voice trembled with emotion as she spoke.”
  • “Another example of ’emotion’ in a sentence is ‘He struggled to hide his emotions during the meeting.'”

Cultural or Historical Notes

The development of the word “emotion” was significantly influenced by the need to describe the complex feelings and psychological states that influence human behavior and interactions. Emotions have been a central topic in psychology, philosophy, literature, and art.

The word “emotion” reflects the importance of feelings and psychological states in human experience, emphasizing the role of emotions in shaping behavior, decision-making, and interpersonal relationships.