ac·​co·​lade | \ˈa-kə-ˌlād, -ˌläd\

Definition of accolade 

1a : a mark of acknowledgment : award received the highest accolade of his profession

b : an expression of praise a movie that has drawn accolades from both fans and critics

2a : a ceremonial embrace

b : a ceremony or salute conferring knighthood

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

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What Is the Origin of accolade?

Accolade was borrowed into English in the 16th 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.

Examples of accolade in a Sentence

There is no higher accolade at this school than an honorary degree. for their exceptional bravery the firefighters received accolades from both local and national officials His abundant accolades include the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded biannually to an outstanding economist under the age of 40—a distinction said to be predictive of, and perhaps even more prestigious than, receipt of the Nobel in economic science. —“Malefactors of Megawealth” P. 13, David M. Kennedy, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, October 21, 2007 In October 1869, Ida Lewis, The Heroine of Lime Rock was published. Thus was a folk heroine born, saluted, celebrated and accoladed. —PROVIDENCE JOURNAL-BULLETIN (RHODE ISLAND) [NEXIS], May 26, 2002, Ida Lewis, keeper of the lighthouse flame, BYLINE: SAM COALE In 1631, John Weever, a poet whose sonnet "Ad Gulielmum Shakespeare" (1599) is one of the earliest testimonials to its subject, published Ancient Funeral Monuments, a bulky folio, almost 900 pages long, the result of half a lifetime's traipsing through graveyards in search of the illustrious dead. The volume gave pride of place to poets. Only "the muses' works ... give unto man immortality", Weever believed, and it was immortality he served, as he copied funerary inscriptions from crumbling monuments. Assembling these, and printing them alongside extracts of the work and other posthumous accolades and endorsements, Weever produced a biographical anthology of verse which established a pattern for literary compilations still in use today and, at the same time, defined the nature of the activity. Literature was that which had been praised; and literary history was the record of praise. —"Literary Criticism" P. 25, Norma Clarke, THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT, February 15, 2002 In short, over the last 900 years only four popes have been judged worthy of official beatification and only three of these have been canonized, the church’s highest accolade. —“Religion” P. 50, Kenneth L. Woodward, NEWSWEEK Vol. CXXXVI No. 10, September 4, 2000
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Recent Examples on the Web

That dive into poetry has resulted in Lewis earning numerous accolades, both nationally and locally. Michael Walsh, Courant Community, "Teen Earns National Poetry Honors," 9 July 2018 Made for $17 million, the horror film about a world taken over by sound-sensitive monsters went on to gross more than $330 million worldwide, earning significant critical accolades along the way. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Why the hardest special effect on A Quiet Place was corn," 8 July 2018 The Michigan football team earned more preseason accolades Monday morning. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Three Michigan football players named preseason All-Americans," 2 July 2018 The lunch-only sandwich shop has earned accolades from haute cuisine publications like Food & Wine and Bon Appétit, which named it America's best new restaurant of 2017. CBS News, "Inside the humble New Orleans sandwich shop hailed as America's best new restaurant," 23 June 2018 Japanese audience members earned similar accolades back in 2014 at the World Cup in Brazil, where some were spotted picking up their own trash after the Japanese team lost to the Ivory Coast 2-1. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Everyone Is Cheering for These Japanese Soccer Fans Who Cleaned Up the World Cup Stadium," 20 June 2018 Herro earned many postseason accolades, including Now News Group's All-Suburban Player of the Year. Christopher Kuhagen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Whitnall star basketball player Tyler Herro meets Triple Crown winner Justify in Kentucky," 13 June 2018 In 1997, while earning accolades (though little profit) at his own label, Mr. Jacobs took on the role of creative director at Louis Vuitton. Steven Kurutz, New York Times, "How Marc Jacobs Fell Out of Fashion," 2 June 2018 Outfielder Wil Dalton and pitcher Jackson Kowar earned second-team accolades. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "After dominating in the regular season, Florida baseball ran away with All-SEC honors | Miami Herald," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accolade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of accolade

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for accolade

borrowed from Middle French acolade, accolade "embrace," from acoler "to embrace" (going back to Old French, from a-, prefix forming transitive verbs—going back to Latin ad- ad-— + col "neck," going back to Latin collum) + -ade -ade — more at collar entry 1

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Statistics for accolade

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for accolade

The first known use of accolade was in 1591

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English Language Learners Definition of accolade

: an award or an expression of praise

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Comments on accolade

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playful or foolish behavior

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