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

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 Being among a select few burger joints, let alone businesses, with such an accolade, the Cozy Inn knows a thing or two about making delicious hamburgers. Maxime Tamsett, CNN, 3 May 2022 Addison restaurant in Carmel Valley, which earned its second Michelin star in September, has earned a new international accolade. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Dec. 2021 Despite winning nearly every major industry accolade within its first decade, the agency lined its walls with portraits of employees rather than awards. New York Times, 15 Oct. 2021 While fans may argue that this accolade is long overdue, Ashanti believes the honor arrives right on time. Alex Gonzalez, Variety, 6 Apr. 2022 For a steaming service to earn Hollywood’s top accolade is a symbolic moment in the entertainment industry. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2022 The accolade was part of ICO’s annual awards for excellence in the field of music performance and for support of musical organizations. Bob Bong,, 23 Mar. 2022 Given that the broadcast journalist has been on the airwaves for a more than four decades, the accolade is more than fitting! Katherine Tinsley, Good Housekeeping, 5 Mar. 2022 Justin Timberlake is adding another impressive accolade to his list of achievements. Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 16 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of accolade was in 1591

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Accolade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on accolade

Nglish: Translation of accolade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of accolade for Arabic Speakers


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