ad·​mire əd-ˈmī(-ə)r How to pronounce admire (audio)
admired; admiring

transitive verb

: to feel respect and approval for (someone or something) : to regard with admiration
They all admired her courage.
archaic : to marvel at

intransitive verb

dialect : to like very much
… I would admire to know why not …A. H. Lewis
admirer noun
Choose the Right Synonym for admire

regard, respect, esteem, admire mean to recognize the worth of a person or thing.

regard is a general term that is usually qualified.

he is highly regarded in the profession

respect implies a considered evaluation or estimation.

after many years they came to respect her views

esteem implies greater warmth of feeling accompanying a high valuation.

no citizen of the town was more highly esteemed

admire suggests usually enthusiastic appreciation and often deep affection.

a friend that I truly admire

Examples of admire in a Sentence

We gazed out the window and admired the scenery. I admire the way you handled such a touchy situation.
Recent Examples on the Web Recently installed tiny doors near storefronts in McKinney are turning the area’s already charming historic downtown square into a whimsical world, attracting visitors to admire the creations of local artists. Noor Adatia, Dallas News, 14 Sep. 2023 Create silly voices for different characters or take time to stop for a second and admire a picture. Jenny Gold, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2023 Dozens of cruise ships sail along Greenland’s coast every year so passengers can admire the picturesque mountainous landscape with fjords, musk oxen, and the waterways packed with icebergs of different sizes and glaciers jutting out into the sea. Jan M. Olsen, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Sep. 2023 His work is admired by audiences and film lovers the world over. Sophia Scorziello, Variety, 13 Sep. 2023 Cavalcante’s run from justice transfixed Latin America, a region that admires U.S. strength while resenting its centuries of interference and exploitation. Marina Dias, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2023 In a 2021 column about Hungary, Douthat expressed empathy for conservatives who admire Orban’s attempts to combat liberal culture. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2023 Stop in to admire the watercolors, acrylics, photography, and jewelry — among other mediums — and see if anything catches your eye. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 9 Sep. 2023 When Balanchine arrived in New York in 1933, America had much to admire. Gia Kourlas, New York Times, 9 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'admire.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Middle French admirer, Latinization of amirer "to make (little or much) of," borrowed from Latin admīrārī, ammīrārī "to regard with wonder, show esteem for," from ad- ad- + mīrārī "to be surprised, look with wonder at," derivative of mīrus, "remarkable, amazing," of uncertain origin

Note: Regarding etymology of Latin mīrus see note at smile entry 1.

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of admire was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near admire

Cite this Entry

“Admire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ad·​mire əd-ˈmī(ə)r How to pronounce admire (audio)
admired; admiring
: to look at with admiration
admire the scenery
: to have high regard for
admired her courage

from early French admirer "to marvel at," from Latin admirari (same meaning), from ad- "at" and mirari "to wonder" — related to miracle

More from Merriam-Webster on admire

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