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What Is Emoji?

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Jun 11, 2024• Proven solutions

If you ever wondered what is emoji, and how the term relates (or unrelates) to its elder sibling emoticon, you are at the right place. In the following sections, you will learn some quite interesting facts about the two, what different types of emojis are available, and what do they mean.

Because understanding the meaning of emojis is more important as compared to knowing what is an emoji itself, here you will get all the related details, relevant answers, and some best practice tips.

Part 1: What Is an Emoji?

 what is Emoji

In a nutshell, an emoji is a graphical image that reflects a certain facial expression. Emojis are created using a drawing tool, and are incorporated into a unique 16-bit Unicode in order to make them compatible with operating systems of the most common devices and platforms like iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows.

In addition to being merely a picture, emojis are also animated to exaggerate the message senders' emotions. You can find a couple of decent examples of such animations while using Skype messenger.

The reason behind emojis being more popular than the emoticons used earlier is the close resemblance of the former to the real-like expressions that they reflect when sent to a recipient. Therefore, it would be safe to say that a single emoji could be worth several sentences while texting if used correctly.

Part 2: What are the Differences Between Emojis and Emoticons?

As explained earlier, the emojis are graphical and sometimes animated Unicode illustrations that can be included in the text messages as objects.

On the other hand, the emoticons are formed using the ASCII characters, and no specific coding is required at the users’ side to create them. Simply put, an emoticon can be easily added to a text message or even to an email merely by using a combination of letters on the keyboard.

For instance, to create an emoticon of a smiley face, all you need to do is, type a colon sign along with a closing brace. (E.g. Typing a : and ) without space will become a smiling face, a : and ( will form a sad face, and so on).

To be clearer, emojis can be considered an advanced, better, and evolved version of emoticons. While the latter can be formed using simple characters like letters and symbols, the former is inserted as an object in the text messages.

Part 3: Where to Find the Meaning of Emojis?

Once you have understood what emoji is, it is now time to learn what the emojis mean. This part is imperative to ensure you don’t send a wrong emotional expression to your friends or family members, and get into some awkward situation after that.

Below is a list of some useful online websites and dictionaries that can help you find correct emojis along with their meanings to make your text conversation more meaningful and interesting:

1. Emojipedia


Emojipedia is an online library that holds several emojis. All the emojis that the portal has are placed in their corresponding categories.

Another section on the landing page of the website contains some of the most popular emojis, i.e. those that are mostly used by the texters during their conversions. Furthermore, the name of the emoji is present right next to it, and the entire part is hyperlinked which when clicked, takes you to a new page that has all the details about the object including its meaning, alternate names, and a button to copy the emoji to the clip board. The copied element can then be pasted in the text input field of a compatible messenger such as Facebook.


 Emoji dictionary

EMOJI DICTIONARY is another online portal that contains almost all the commonly used emojis. The upper section of the page is dedicated to ‘Featured Terms’ with a slider that has all the featured emojis. The next segment lists all the categories other than emojis.

The bottom area of the landing page has all the emojis along with their names and/or the supported devices. All the names in the section are hyperlinked that open a new page when clicked, and show all the details such as examples, usage, and origin related to that particular emoji.

3. Emoji Dictionary

 Emoji dictionary emojifoundation

This one is unique in its own way as in along with listing the most popular emojis and their names and definitions, it also allows you to include your own information in case you know something other than what is already present.

In addition to displaying the top emojis right on the landing page, the portal also has a category list where each segment holds its corresponding objects. This helps in locating your favorite elements easily and quickly. Furthermore, when you click an emoji, a new page opens up with all its definition from different aspects such as nouns, verbs, etc., along with a ‘Copy’ button that lets you copy the image to the clipboard, and use it on a compatible messaging app.

4. EmojiMeanings


The landing page of EmojiMeanings is populated with all the categories where each holds several relevant emojis, thus making it easier for the users to find and learn their meaning. The home page also has complete information about what emojis are, how they are different from emoticons, and what does the term ‘smiley’ actually mean.

When you click a category, a new page opens up with three major columns titled as ‘Emoji’, ‘Meaning’, and ‘Unicode’ that show an emoji itself, explain what it means, and what Unicode is used to form it respectively. All the emojis on EmojiMeanings are usually compatible with WhatsApp and Facebook.

5. HotEmoji

 hotemoji Emoji  meaning

HotEmoji is yet another online portal that lists almost all the emojis along with their meanings. Each entry is hyperlinked which when clicked opens a new web page dedicated to that particular emoji where all the details about it are mentioned.

The new page also has a ‘Copy’ button that can be used to copy the object to the clipboard, and then the element can be pasted onto any compatible messenger during a text conversation.

Part 4: How to Find Emoji on Any Device?

While locating and inserting emojis on any messaging app on your smartphone is fairly simple as the messenger already has an icon that opens the entire emoji library when tapped, things are a bit tricky while using a Mac or Windows PC. Therefore, the following points explain how to find and use emojis on the computer running any of these operating systems:

How to Find Emojis on Windows 8 and Windows 10

On Windows 8 or Windows 10 computers, click the ‘Keyboard’ icon that is present in the ‘Notification area’ at the bottom-right corner of the screen, i.e. right side of the taskbar. When the list of emojis appears, you can click your favorite one and use it in the messenger.

How to Find Emojis on macOS

While using a Mac computer, you can open the app you want to add an emoji to, and then press the ctrl + cmd + spacebar keys on the keyboard.

Part 5: Most Common Emoji Categories

 Emoji type: Smiley people

Some of the most commonly used categories that you must know after understanding what is an emoji include:

  • Smileys & People – Holds the images of faces reflecting facial expressions and the vector images/animations of some popular people
  • Animals & Nature – Contains the images/animations of animals and other natural elements such as trees, rocks, mountains, etc.
  • Food & Drink – This category has vector images of beautifully decorated and well-aligned wine glasses, soft drink cans, pizza slices, etc.
  • Activity – Has the emojis that reflect certain actions such as dance stances, walking, running, etc.
  • Travel & Places – Is equipped with vectors of transportation mediums and locations such as trains, buses, buildings, banks, etc.
  • Objects – Is populated with miscellaneous objects like a pair of shoes, suits, clocks, socks, etc.
  • Symbols – This one consists of different types of symbols such as an equal to sign, stop sign, delta symbol, and many more
  • Flags – This category contains flags of almost all the countries of the world. These emojis are mostly used to illustrate your current or destination location for reference

Part 6: Tips of Using Emojis

It is always a good idea to use emojis every now and then. However, using too many of them in your conversation might make the entire text look overly populated, and your communication partner may lose interest in you. Therefore, understanding when and how to use emojis is as important as it is to know what the emoji means.

Add Emojis to Video with Filmora

 Add emojis to video with Filmora9

If you want to add animated emojis to video and share on social media, then Filmora is a good choice. Besides the built-in free animated emojis under Effects tab, you will also find some free or paid animated emojis or stickers on the effects store Filmstock. Download the free trial version of Filmora and create videos with fun.

Download Filmora9 Win Version Download Filmora9 Mac Version

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Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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Shanoon Cox

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