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

On the academic side, his accolades included Advanced Placement scholar with honors, National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Music Honor Society, Illinois High School Association State Scholar, pep band, robotics team and math team. Chuck Fieldman,, "Oak Brook Athlete of the Year award provides a reunion for friends who attended different high schools," 9 July 2018 Among his accolades was the 2009 USGA Junior Amateur title, and he was ranked No.1 junior amateur and was also a former US Junior Ryder Cup player. Rob Hodgetts, CNN, "Jordan Spieth's schoolboy letter begins storied PGA Tour career," 16 May 2018 Nanosky, who was selected to the second team, garners his second straight All-OAC accolade after also being named as an honorable mention last season. 'sam' Boyer/special To,, "Scouts had a day of good deeds at the farm: Whit & Whimsey (Photos)," 11 May 2018 Despite his track accolades, Ernest gave up a professional track career to train at Traction Sports Performance in Baton Rouge in hopes of making a 53-man NFL roster. Julie Boudwin,, "Aaron Ernest 'would be fastest man in the NFL': Road to the Pros," 25 Apr. 2018 Now, 20 years later, Contreras can count among her accolades being a finalist for the 2018 Houston Poet Laureate and the 2017 Tupelo Press Dorset Prize, judged by nationally renowned poet and critic Ilya Kaminsky. Olivia P. Tallet, Houston Chronicle, "Houston celebrates the 20th anniversary of an iconic Latino movement," 25 Apr. 2018 In addition to his track accolades, Alex has also shined for TFA in football as a receiver and in basketball as a guard., "Alex Shields, nation's fastest sophomore hurdler, eyes the NBA," 24 Apr. 2018 In a recent ad, Idaho congressional candidate Russ Fulcher touts his accolades while his mom throws in wry comments. Cynthia Sewell, idahostatesman, "Idaho candidates 'appalled' by Trump in the past, woo his supporters now | Idaho Statesman," 24 Apr. 2018 For more than two decades in Major League Baseball, the beloved Oriole became an emblem of persistence and grit, and his accolades are innumerable. Adam Cohen, Smithsonian, "Baseball Legend Cal Ripken Jr. Takes Home Another Award, This Time From the Smithsonian," 20 Apr. 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

8 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on accolade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with accolade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for accolade

Spanish Central: Translation of accolade

Nglish: Translation of accolade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of accolade for Arabic Speakers

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