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Word of the Day : November 17, 2013

accolade

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noun AK-uh-layd

Definition

1 a : a ceremonial embrace

b : a ceremony or salute conferring knighthood

2 a : a mark of acknowledgment : award

b : an expression of praise

3 : a brace or a line used in music to join two or more staffs carrying simultaneous parts

Examples

The movie's special effects have drawn accolades from both fans and critics.

"The feature-length film … debuts in New Orleans after a year of critical acclaim and awards on the festival circuit, as well as accolades from The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Oxford American, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Variety and more." - From an article by Alison Fensterstock in the Times-Picayune (New Orleans), October 16, 2013



Did You Know?

Accolade was borrowed into English in the 17th century from French. The French noun in turn derives from the verb accoler, which means "to embrace," and ultimately from the Latin term collum, meaning "neck." (Collum is also an ancestor of the English word collar.) When it was first borrowed from French, accolade referred to a ceremonial embrace that once marked the conferring of knighthood. The term was later extended to any ceremony conferring knighthood (such as the more familiar tapping on the shoulders with the flat part of a sword's blade), and eventually extended to honors or awards in general.

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