accolade

noun ac·co·lade \ ˈa-kə-ˌlād , -ˌläd \
Updated on: 1 Dec 2017

Definition of accolade

1 a : 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
2 a : 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

accolade was our Word of the Day on 11/17/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of accolade in a Sentence

  1. There is no higher accolade at this school than an honorary degree.

  2. for their exceptional bravery the firefighters received accolades from both local and national officials

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

Recent Examples of accolade from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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 1collar


ACCOLADE Defined for English Language Learners

accolade

noun

Definition of accolade for English Language Learners

  • : an award or an expression of praise



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up accolade? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to provide what is needed to exist

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman-tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!