ac·​co·​lade | \ ˈa-kə-ˌlād How to pronounce accolade (audio) , -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
Recent Examples on the Web The list of accolades for Pasadena ISD even includes Dobie senior midfielder Imanol Pena earning MVP honors to the nine-school district and teammate Eris Acosta, a sophomore, landing Goalkeeper of the Year. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Dobie picks up a slew of soccer accolades on all-district team," 7 May 2020 Hayes was born in the United States but spent most of his childhood in France and has racked up plenty of accolades on the international circuit. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "NBA mock draft: Killian Hayes trendy pick for Phoenix Suns in 1st round of 2020 NBA draft," 31 Mar. 2020 For years, a dog named Balto, who led musher Gunnar Kaasen’s team on the final 55-mile leg into Nome, has secured the bulk of accolades for the serum run, including a bronze statue in New York’s Central Park. Mike Campbell, Anchorage Daily News, "Here are some recent mushing films to watch while waiting to see who makes it first to Nome," 5 Mar. 2020 In the Broadway world, that profit week by week is determined by all sorts of unknowns: tourism levels, advertising campaigns, critical accolades, word-of-mouth reviews — and everything is taken into account. Julia Jacobs, New York Times, "Arts Groups Fight Their Insurers Over Coverage on Virus Losses," 5 May 2020 These kids are sacrificing accolades and awards to work towards a bigger picture goal. Dana Scott, azcentral, "New PHH Prep girls basketball team draws 7 top high school transfers within one week," 5 May 2020 And though the restaurant has been closed since mid-March, it's notched another accolade, this time from men's magazine GQ, which includes Leila among its list of 16 Best New Restaurants in America for 2020. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Freep Restaurant of the Year Leila is one of GQ's best new restaurants in the country," 4 May 2020 His impact goes beyond accolades, plaques, stats and wins. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Ed Siegel, Indiana Basketball Hall of Famer and Pike icon, dies from the coronavirus at 87," 24 Apr. 2020 Walker earned accolades from Republicans not only in Wisconsin but nationwide. Washington Examiner, "Byron York's Daily Memo: Trump orders Navy to 'destroy' Iranian boats," 22 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for accolade

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The first known use of accolade was in 1591

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Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Accolade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for accolade


How to pronounce accolade (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of accolade

: an award or an expression of praise

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