What does EMACS mean?

Definitions for EMACS

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word EMACS.


  1. Emacs(ProperNoun)

    A particular visual or WYSIWYG text editor (first written by Richard Stallman in 1975 but since reimplemented by others in several distinct versions), distinguished by its use of control characters as editing commands, by its lack of distinct "insert" and "edit" modes, and by its featurefulness and extensibility.

  2. emacs(Noun)

    Any implementation or reimplementation of Emacs.

  3. Origin: editor macros


  1. Emacs

    Emacs and its derivatives are a family of text editors that are characterized by their extensibility. The manual for one variant describes it as "the extensible, customizable, self-documenting, real-time display editor." Development began in the mid-1970s and continues actively as of 2013. Emacs has over 2,000 built-in commands and allows the user to combine these commands into macros to automate work. The use of Emacs Lisp, a variant of the Lisp programming language, provides a deep extension capability. The original EMACS was written in 1976 by Richard Stallman and Guy L. Steele, Jr. as a set of Editor MACroS for the TECO editor. It was inspired by the ideas of the TECO-macro editors TECMAC and TMACS. Emacs became, along with vi, one of the two main contenders in the traditional editor wars of Unix culture. The word "emacs" is often pluralized as emacsen by analogy with boxen and VAXen. The most popular, and most ported, version of Emacs is GNU Emacs, which was created by Stallman for the GNU Project. XEmacs is a common variant that branched from GNU Emacs in 1991. Both of the variants use Emacs Lisp and are for the most part compatible with each other.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. EMACS

    [from Editing MACroS] The ne plus ultra of hacker editors, a programmable text editor with an entire LISP system inside it. It was originally written by Richard Stallman in TECO under ITS at the MIT AI lab; AI Memo 554 described it as “an advanced, self-documenting, customizable, extensible real-time display editor”. It has since been reimplemented any number of times, by various hackers, and versions exist that run under most major operating systems. Perhaps the most widely used version, also written by Stallman and now called “GNU EMACS” or GNUMACS, runs principally under Unix. (Its close relative XEmacs is the second most popular version.) It includes facilities to run compilation subprocesses and send and receive mail or news; many hackers spend up to 80% of their tube time inside it. Other variants include GOSMACS, CCA EMACS, UniPress EMACS, Montgomery EMACS, jove, epsilon, and MicroEMACS. (Though we use the original all-caps spelling here, it is nowadays very commonly ‘Emacs’.) Some EMACS versions running under window managers iconify as an overflowing kitchen sink, perhaps to suggest the one feature the editor does not (yet) include. Indeed, some hackers find EMACS too heavyweight and baroque for their taste, and expand the name as ‘Escape Meta Alt Control Shift’ to spoof its heavy reliance on keystrokes decorated with bucky bits. Other spoof expansions include ‘Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping’ (from when that was a lot of core), ‘Eventually malloc()s All Computer Storage’, and ‘EMACS Makes A Computer Slow’ (see recursive acronym). See also vi.

Anagrams for EMACS »

  1. maces

  2. SECAM

  3. acmes


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of EMACS in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of EMACS in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Images & Illustrations of EMACS



Find a translation for the EMACS definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these EMACS definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"EMACS." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 25 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/EMACS>.

Are we missing a good definition for EMACS? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for EMACS:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.