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 His films have scored numerous accolades for his stars, with Lawrence taking home the Academy Award for Best Actress in his 2012 film Silver Linings Playbook and a second Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in American Hustle. Kaitlin Reilly,, "Michael B. Jordan & Margot Robbie Are Finally Starring In A Movie Together," 12 Feb. 2020 That is a very high accolade from President Trump, and in today’s Republican party. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Perfect Republicans, &c.," 10 Feb. 2020 There’s a whole world of movies out there — exciting, surprising, popular movies — that deserve audiences and accolades in America. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "What the ‘Parasite’ Landslide Says About the Oscars: Our Critics Weigh In," 10 Feb. 2020 And during the recent SFJazz Gala, Staples, a Grammy winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer (among numerous other accolades) was honored with the cultural organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Catherine Bigelow,, "SFJazz Gala sings the praises of Mavis Staples," 4 Feb. 2020 The musical also won a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy, among many other impressive accolades. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, ""Hamilton: The Musical" Is Coming to Movie Theaters," 3 Feb. 2020 The recognition and accolades that accompany the runs garner local and national prestige for their programs. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "A rare peril: How dominance can become a hindrance for powerhouse football teams’ non-district schedules," 29 Jan. 2020 Pretty solid for your run of the mill role-player, but given Green’s contract, championship hardware and personal accolades, those numbers are slightly disappointing. Geoff Clark, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "NBA Player Prop Bet Payday: Jaren Jackson will maul the Pistons," 24 Jan. 2020 Everyone keeps finding out that no matter an opponent’s experience or accolades, no matter the stakes or the stage, Gauff plays with determination and delivers the goods. Howard Fendrich,, "Rising star Coco Gauff upsets defending champ Naomi Osaka at Australian Open," 24 Jan. 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

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Accolade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 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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