A gem or shell carved in relief, especially one in which the raised design and the background consist of layers of contrasting colors. The technique of carving in this way. A medallion with a profile cut in raised relief. A brief vivid portrayal or depiction: a literary cameo. A brief appearance of a prominent actor, as in a single scene of a motion picture. Also called cameo role. To make into or like a gem or shell carved in relief. To portray in sharp, delicate relief, as in a literary composition. To make a brief appearance, as in a film: She cameoed as Anne Boleyn in A Man for All Seasons.