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 evening's big award Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture was a race between Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Minari, One Night in Miami, and The Trial of the Chicago 7 to take the accolade. Ruth Kinane,, "Screen Actors Guild Awards 2021: See the full list of winners," 4 Apr. 2021 They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1995, and received the organization's top accolade, the Johnny Mercer Award, in 2014. Paul Grein, Billboard, "Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff Among Speakers at Grammy Career Day 2021 Virtual Events: See the Full List," 30 Mar. 2021 Promising Young Woman received the accolade for Original Screenplay, while Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’s Sacha Baron Cohen and his many collaborators received the same for Adapted Screenplay. Halle Kiefer, Vulture, "Promising Young Woman, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Walk Away Winners From WGA Awards," 21 Mar. 2021 Johnson said he was taken aback when the NBA announced the accolade. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs' Keldon Johnson on COVID: 'I would say it sucked.'," 4 Mar. 2021 That Gündoğan is not the clear frontrunner for such an accolade is due to the range of quality City have, and also the exploits of Bruno Fernandes at Man United. James Nalton, Forbes, "Which Manchester City Player Should Win Premier League Player Of The Year?," 17 Mar. 2021 This month he is scheduled to receive the Pride of Performance award from the president of Pakistan, the country’s highest accolade for achievement in the arts. Saeed Shah, WSJ, "Pakistani Singer Faces Prosecution for Accusing Pop Star of Groping Her," 12 Mar. 2021 Queta was chosen unanimously by media for the defensive accolade. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah State’s Neemias Queta wins highest basketball accolades from Mountain West Conference," 8 Mar. 2021 The accolade will be presented at the 2021 APRA Music Awards, to be held April 28 in Sydney. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Helen Reddy to be Posthumously Honored at APRA Awards," 9 Mar. 2021

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

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Accolade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of accolade

: an award or an expression of praise

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